Differentiated Integration in the European Union – Consequences for Relations with Neighbours

Panel Code

There are many interesting processes under way in the European Union nowadays. One of them is the development of differentiated integration, including the emerging division into the core and circles (or centre and peripheries). The process has gained in political weight when the member states began to look for the ways out of the euro crisis and the Brexit issue became a reality. It has consequences not only for the members of the EU but also for its relations with the third countries, particularly its neighbours. The main goal of the panel is to take a close look at the impact of the differentiated integration on the EU policies concerning its neighbours – i.e. the enlargement policy and two dimensions of the European Neighbourhood Policy as well as the relations with other EU neighbours including Russia as well as EEA countries, Switzerland and in the future possibly also the United Kingdom.
Many interesting issues are worth discussing here. Historically, we can talk about some concepts of the European integration being actually the first theoretical models of the external differentiated integration (e.g. “the concentric circles”). The crucial question is which concepts can be taken into consideration by working out the models of the external differentiated integration nowadays. Actually, there are some models of the external differentiated integration working already in the case of many EU neighbours and their relationships with the EU. However, it is worth investigating the possible development of these models in the future. It is not a purely theoretical question. The current enlargement policy and the ENP are in a crisis. The EU is losing its influence on the neighbourhood. The question is if the development of new or modified models of the external differentiated integration can be a kind of solution to these problems. These and many more questions will be posed within the panel.