EU IDEA Final project

Differentiated integration as a strategic choice, as the European Union is dealing with internal and external challenges. This was the topic of the EU IDEA final conference in Brussels, a two-day event that gathered researchers, EU representatives and experts to explore differentiation and integration issues and to find viable solutions to current challenges faced by the EU

Five panels with the greatest experts on these research topics, that covered the ways in which history and narratives around differentiation influence today’s state of the EU, Democracy and legitimacy as the cornerstones of a differentiated EU and Sustainability, security and solidarity in a wider Europe. But also, the implication of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and how a differentiated Union behaves in a complex world. The closing keynote speech was delivered by the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, who pointed out the limits for differentiated integration.

Human rights, rule of Law, solidarity, equality, independence of justice are the limits for differentiated integration inside and outside the European Union. And this is not in contradiction with the final results of the EU IDEA project.

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Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Closing Session

Closing Keynote Speech

EU IDEA Project: The Impact of Differentiation on EU Governance: Effectiveness, Sustainability and Accountability

This video is based on the Research Paper by Nicoletta Pirozzi and Matteo Bonomi (IAI)

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EU IDEA Project: Differentiation in ASEAN, ECOWAS and MERCOSUR – A comparative analysis

On October 26, 2021, an EU IDEA closed-door seminar gathered together academic experts on international relations and regionalism to discuss the main findings of the policy document “Differentiation in ASEAN, ECOWAS and MERCOSUR: A Comparative Analysis”, in which various modes of differentiation in regions outside of Europe were analysed.

The session, which was held online and organised by CIDOB, was introduced by Pol Morillas, CIDOB’s Director, and moderated by Anna Ayuso, co-author of the paper and Senior Researcher at CIDOB. The intervention began with the presentation of the paper by its co-authors: Bart Gaens, Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Bernardo Venturi, Associate Fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionli and Anna Ayuso. The three experts presented the case studies of ASEAN, ECOWAS and MERCOSUR and the main conclusions of the comparative analysis. The session continued with an open discussion with the audience, including the remarks of Jean Grugel, Professor at the University of York and Director of the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, Gian Luca Gardini, Chair Holder at the University of Udine, Frank Mattheis, Research Fellow at the United Nations University and Andrea Bianculli, Assistant Professor at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals.

EU IDEA Project: Migration Challenges in Europe

On 15 October 2021, EU IDEA organised an online public event with keynote speaker the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) António Vitorino, who discussed the migration challenges in Europe and the forms of cooperation European countries should consider.

Blanca Garcés, Senior Research Fellow in the area of Migrations at CIDOB, moderated the event. Experts from the project participated, presenting challenges, considering policy options, and discussing the role of the IOM. The session was streamed live via CIDOB’s Youtube channel.

EU IDEA Project: Migration challenges and the effectiveness of differentiation

Interview with Emmanuel Comte, Senior Research Fellow at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs and project leader of Work Package 6: The Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), including migration

By Federico Baccini (

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EU IDEA Project: Differentiated integration as a deliberate choice to foster European unity

Interview with Funda Tekin, Director of the Institut für Europäische Politik and project leader of Work Package 8: National preferences on EU
By Federico Baccini (
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Seizing the chance: differentiation, democracy and the Conference on the Future of Europe

An online event by Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the framework of EU IDEA project. Differentiation has become a normal feature of the European integration process. Depending on the form it takes and how it relates to the overarching European Union’s system, it can be a tool for integration, a symptom of fragmentation, or simply a solution for managing diversity. Differentiation and its implications for the governance and accountability of the EU are therefore key elements to be taken into consideration in the context of the broader debate to be conducted at the Conference on the future of Europe.

FIIA Webinar: European foreign policy in turbulent times

On 23 March 2021, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) organized a webinar with EU Idea researchers and Federica Mogherini, Rector of the College of Europe and former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The webinar, titled “European foreign policy in turbulent times: Does differentiation make the EU a stronger actor?” addressed the question, when and how has differentiation advanced the EU’s role in world politics.

EU IDEA Project: Differentiated EUrope 2035: Elaboration and Evaluation of Five Potential Scenarios

This video is based on the Policy Paper by Janis A. Emmanouilidis, European Policy Centre (EPC)

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EU IDEA Project: Public Opinion on an Ever More Differentiated EU

This video is based on the Policy Paper “Public Opinion on an Ever More Differentiated EU” by Anna Stahl

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EU IDEA Project: Differentiation in the EU economic policy field

Fragmentation risks, new patterns of differentiation and lessons from existing arrangements.
This video is based on the op-ed by Andreas Eisl and Eulalia Rubio “What type of differentiation in EU economic governance after COVID?”

Discover the Paper on the Euidea website “How Effective is Differentiation in the EU Economic Policy Field?

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EU IDEA Project: Differentiated integration in EU foreign policy – Lead groups on Iran and Ukraine

Lead groups: does this practice dilute EU foreign polocy cohesion or, on the contrary, give it direction and content?
This video is based on the paper by Riccardo Alcaro and Marco Siddi: “Differentiation in EU Foreign and Security Policy: EU LEad Groups in the Iranian Nuclear dispute and the Ukraine crisis”.

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The future of EU-UK relationship.

A brief policy debate with Nicoletta Pirozzi (IAI and EU IDEA project coordinator) Fabian Zuleeg (EPC chief executive) and Kati Piri (MEP and co-rapporteur on the future EU/UK partnership). In this video, we discuss the main issues addressed at the public event organized in Brussels by EPC in the framework of the Horizon 2020 project.

EU IDEA Project: Schengen under pressure

The video is based on the homonym Policy Paper by Marie De Somer, Head of the Migration & Diversity Programme at the European Policy Centre (EPC), Brussels, and Visiting Professor at KU Leuven and Sciences Po.; Funda Tekin, Director of the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP), Berlin; Vittoria Meissner, Senior Researcher at IEP.

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EU IDEA Project: Presentation of work package 4, 5, 6

Sabancı University has virtually hosted the Executive Board Meeting and a number of workshops with the Consortium members in October 8th and 9th to keep working on the research and analysis activities. Remote working sessions has brought together 15 institutional partners from different locations within and outside the European Union to take stock of the situation and discuss the state of play for EU IDEA work packages 4-5-6.

EU IDEA Project: Brexit and External Differentiation in Single Market Access

The video is based on the homonym Policy Brief by Andreas Eisl, Research Fellow on European Economic Policy at the Institut Jacques Delors, and Eulalia Rubio, Senior Research Fellow on European Economic Policy at the Institut Jacques Delors. It explained the two possible scenarios that Brexit could have lead to.

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Brexit Reviewed: Process, Consequences, and Scenarios.

This public conference on Brexit was held at the University of Groningen on 11 April 2019, as part of a two-day meeting of the EU IDEA project consortium. The main topics addressed were the potential ramifications of Brexit in light of the extension granted to the May government until end of October 2019, the connection between Brexit and democracy, including the democratic paradox, as well as the implications of Brexit for Central European countries. Keynote speakers were Pier Domenico Tortola, University of Groningen, Larissa Brunner, European Policy Centre in Brussels, Lars Rensmann, University of Groningen, and Petr Kratochvíl, Institute of International Relations in Prague.

EU IDEA Project: Presentation of Work Packages 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

On 29 January 2019, the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo – International Affairs Programme – hosted a public conference on differentiated integration that marked the launch of “EU IDEA – EU Integration and Differentiation for Effectiveness and Accountability”. 

On that occasion, EU IDEA made a video presenting the Work Packages 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

EU IDEA Project: Presentation of the project

Nicoletta Pirozzi, Head of the EU, politcs and institutions and EU IDEA Project Coordinator, introduced EU IDEA at the very beginning of the project.