European Union: unity or differentiation?
Speaker: Dr Matej Avbelj (Graduate School of Government and European Studies, Kranj, Solvenia)
Recent weeks in the European Union have witnessed a revival, indeed, an outbreak of interest in a differentiated integration. Several political leaders, influential opinion-makers and a growing number of academics have argued in favor of the-so called two-speed Europe.
Admittedly, various instances of differentiation – as opposed to complete uniformity – have always been part of the process of European integration. They have been, however, due to the prevailing ideology of uniformity subject to a negative normative attitude and have been considered exceptional, a kind of momentary digression from the linear, unidirectional course to an ever closer union. Now, when the idea of a (more) differentiated European Union is apparently gaining momentum, the following questions ought to be considered.
- What is new in the debate on differentiated integration?
- Do these novel theoretical and practical circumstances, to be identified in the talk, signal a genuine move towards a more differentiated and therefore markedly different European Union from the one known so far?
- Is this a normatively attractive evolution of European integration or, conversely, its defeat, marking the demise of the original European idea(l)?
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