The Risks and Benefits of Differentiated Integration in the European Union as Perceived by Academic Experts

Journal of Common Market Studies, 2021

Sandra Kröger and Thomas Loughran

 

Abstract 

This article sheds light on how academic experts assess the benefits and risks of differentiated integration (DI) in the European Union (EU). DI denotes particular member states either being allowed to opt out of specific EU policies, or being excluded or exempted from participating in them until certain conditions are met. The findings of a novel expert survey (n = 95) highlight two key divisions amongst experts, namely, first a regional divide between scholars based in Western Europe and those based in Eastern Europe, with the former more favourable to DI than the latter; and second, a substantive divide between those, more numerous, who are favourable to DI, and those who are more critical. For the former, the perceived benefits outweigh the perceived risks. What drives the support of or objection to DI also differs between experts. Whereas supporters favour pragmatic reasons for DI, opponents mostly mobilize principled reasons against it.

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Sandra Kröger and Thomas Loughran

'The Risks and Benefits of Differentiated Integration in the European Union as Perceived by Academic Experts'

In: Journal of Common Market Studies, 2021
DOI: 10.1111/jcms.13301

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Published Jan. 5, 2022 11:43 AM - Last modified Jan. 31, 2022 4:31 PM