Wider Europe, Deeper Integration? – Network of Excellence

EU-CONSENT (“Constructing Europe” Network) was a Network of excellence among 48 partner institutes. It is a Network for joint research and teaching focusing on the construction of a new Europe (2005-2008). It addressed questions of the mutual reinforcing effects of deepening and widening by developing and working with different sets of expectations for analysing the past and developing an innovative framework for the future integration beyond Western Europe. Within such a conceptual framework 25 teams test lessons from the past in view of their academic and political validity for discussing visions and scenarios for the future. The common framework included integrating activities (common conferences and workshops, activities in plenum and in teams), common research (‘EU-25 Watch’ and WEB-CONSENT), teaching activities (traditional and virtual courses – EDEIOS, virtual study units on EU deepening and widening, as well as a PhD Centre of Excellence and internships for young researchers) and dissemination activities (public events and common publications).

The results of the integrating activities flew furthermore into common databases such as the E-Library, a multilingual glossary on EU deepening and widening, bibliographies and core curricula, which will all be made available on the WEB-CONSENT. It  also offered yardsticks for observing the progress made by the whole project.

The activities of EU – CONSENT concentrated on thematic or functional / horizontal work packages.

ELIAMEP was leading one of the teams within WP II/III and was focusing on “Economic integration: approaches, lessons and visions for the future”.

Our major task was to bring together the economic dimensions from all work packages, and especially from Workpackage VI on Economic and Social Policies for the enlarged European Union, and to integrate these into the overall theoretical frame. The team  explored different methods through which political integration has been furthered through economic instruments in the past, and discuss the extent to which this may continue to be the model ahead in the enlarged/ing Europe. Particular emphasis will be attributed to linking economic policies and economic integration to political choices and to the overall shape and direction of European integration. The team’s aim was to look at the relationships between economic policies and basic political values and to raise questions about stability, growth, the redistributive dimension of the EU, and democracy in the enlarged European Union.

Duration: 2005-2009

Funded by the European Commission, DG Research, Sixth Framework Programme, Thematic Priority 7, Research Area 4

Project Co-ordinator: University of Kohl, Germany, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wessels
Partner for ELIAMEP, Athens, Greece: Prof. Loukas Tsoukalis and Dr. Ruby Gropas
Fore more information visit the Project website

Contact persons:
Prof. Loukas Tsoukalis, President, ELIAMEP
Dr. Ruby Gropas, Research Fellow, ELIAMEP