ACES Annual Conference: “Differentiated Integration and the Future of Europe: Promises, Pitfalls, Pathways”

The Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES) is organising its annual conference, to be held online on September 30 – October 1, in collaboration with InDivEU and DiCE.

This year’s Annual Conference is organised around the topic of differentiated integration. The conference will examine the development of differentiated integration within the EU, focusing on both its promises and its pitfalls. Speakers will cover internal and external dimensions of differentiation, including Brexit, linking academic research to current political debates about the future of European integration. The Annual Conference is part of ACES’s programme as a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.

Differentiated integration, understood as rules and policies that apply to some but not all member states, has become increasingly central to academic and political debate on the future of the EU. Established divisions between groups of member states, such as the Eurozone and the Schengen Area, show no signs of disappearing, while new ones such as Banking Union and Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in defense have recently been introduced. Non-member states such as Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey likewise participate in key EU policies like the Single Market and the Customs Union.

Some EU leaders, such as President Macron of France, see closer cooperation among a hard core of countries as the most promising pathway to deeper European integration, while others, like Commission President von der Leyen, appear more concerned with ensuring that member states move forward together within a common policy framework. Differentiated integration has also been proposed as a means of accommodating national diversity within an increasingly heterogeneous Union and reducing public discontent with European integration by allowing member states to opt out of specific EU policies. 

Read the Full Conference Programme.

Learn more here.