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The law of European integration: the internal dimension and the external dimension

Research project P5/32 (Research action P5)


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The objective of the project is to analyse the interface between the internal and the external dimension of European law. Unlike most research programme in this field, emphasis is placed on substantive law. This does not, however, exclude institutional matters insofar as they have direct links and influence on the internal and external development of European integration (in particular in view of the European Union’s enlargement).

The project will be an extension of the already existing IAP, the work of which has been praised by the ex post evaluation report. It will continue to be a multi-focus project in order to cover the main actual and future developments of European law and be centred around four research fields, in which the existing network’s output has been judged as being "distinctive, both in terms of subject matter and in terms of the quality" (Evalution Report). These fields are:

(1) external relations of the European Union;
(2) enlargement of the Union and its Mediterranean policy;
(3) internal market, liberalisation and harmonisation;
(4) area of freedom, security and justice.

These fields allow to cover a wide range of topics, which are in evolution and which are crucial for the future development of the European Union, both internally and externally. Moreover, they are intertwined in many respects, allowing and requiring cooperation between the different partners of the network.

Each partner will take the lead, and ensure cooperation and output of the network in one particular field (Liège: external relations and internal market; Ghent: enlargement and Mediterranean policy; Brussels: area of freedom, security and justice). Moreover, each partner will be involved, through at least one researcher, in the four proposed research fields. This structure should allow both, to maintain and further develop each partner’s particular competence in a given research field and to deepen intra- and inter-diciplinary cooperation within the network.

In line with the ex post evaluation report, it is proposed to strengthen the weight of the Ghent and the Brussels research team. Furthermore, and following the second recommendation of the Evaluation Report, it is proposed to extend the existing network to a new partner. The Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP - Paris) will analyse, from a political science perspective, institutional aspects of enlargement. Together with members of the political science departments of the Liège University and the IEE/ULB, which will join the Liège and Brussels teams, this new partner will allow the future IAP to integrate an interdisciplinary perspective.


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