At the European Council summit of February 18-19 a “New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union" was reached. The agreement marks a watershed in acknowledging that EU integration is not a one-directional process of ‘ever closer Union’. Different paths of integration are now open to member states that do not compel them towards a common destination.
In this Report, Steven Blockmans from CEPS and Stefani Weiss analyse the substance of the "Decision of the Heads of State or Government, meeting within the European Council, concerning a “New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union" and shed light on its legal character and implication for the future of European integration. They do so by contextualising this EU deal to avoid Brexit, and draw on the conclusions reached in a simulation of European Council negotiations between representatives of think tanks in the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN), conducted jointly by CEPS and the Bertelsmann Stiftung in October 2015.