On Thursday 28 and Friday 29 November 2013 the Research Group European Integration of the The Hague University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) organized a conference entitled:
FUTURE MODELS OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
The Conference discussed models of differentiated integration. The idea being that without such models, the European Union may probably not survive in the future. Indeed, the group of existing member states is not a homogeneous group. Between the partners there exist substantive differences as to economic and/or social development. Thus one may hardly expect that all member states will be able to cooperate in the future in a uniform manner and simultaneously in all policy domains.
The first file open for discussion concerned Economic Governance. Indeed, economic and monetary policy has from the outset been an area where not all Member States participate in a similar manner. The recent ESM (European Stability Mechanism) Treaty as well as the Fiscal Compact Treaty have only confirmed this fact. In a second part the potential of enhanced cooperation was discussed. So far this general treaty principle has been applied in three cases. However, in the future more use will respectively should be made of this principle, eventually by creating more flexibility as to the modalities of application of enhanced cooperation. Thereafter in three parallel sessions specific case studies were discussed. A first topic concerns the possibilities to introduce varieties of differentiated cooperation in Common Foreign and Security Policy, after the example of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice where for example three member states have been granted full-fledged derogations. Then attention was given to the possibility to involve neighbouring countries and applicant countries in crucial domains of EU cooperation according to the model of gradualness. Moreover tensions related to independentism within individual member states were analysed: what would it mean for EU membership when a given member state would fall apart? Finally and in the light of the findings reached during the discussions over de other topics, the best approach(es) to be followed by the European Union as a whole were discussed. Here you can consult the Programme.