Institutional Challenges for External Differentiated Integration: the case of the EEA
Brexit has given new attention to the various models of external differentiation. At the centre of interest are questions of institutional design: How to keep agreements up-to-date in light of relevant new EU law? How to monitor partners’ compliance? How to ensure the uniform interpretation of agreements in line with the EU law from which they are derived? And how to settle disputes between the parties? The European Economic Area (EEA) is generally regarded as something like the archetype of external differentiation. It provides for substantial functional and institutional integration between the EU and the participating EFTA States Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Due to its broad functional scope and elaborate institutional framework it is undoubtedly the most far-reaching model of integration of Non-Member States with the EU. Since the EEA is an institutional benchmark for privileged partnership with the EU, the EEA can also be used to analyse the institutional challenges that come with external differentiation.