Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Christian Calliess

Towards a More Flexible European Union: Preparing for Enlargement with a New Integration Architecture

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1. edition
16 pages, Brochure
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The debate about the future of the EU and the necessary reforms (including the question of whether changes to the EU Treaties are necessary, appropriate, and realistic) has been ongoing for some time—publicly, within EU institutions, and in dialogues between EU member states and their citizens. However, with the geopolitical implications of recent events, such as Putin's full-scale war with Ukraine, the discussion around enlargement has acquired an urgent and renewed impetus. Nonetheless, there remains a proverbial elephant in the room, as most proposals shy away from addressing the topic of differentiated integration, including approaches for a more flexible architecture for European integration.

This paper offers an in-depth analysis of potential reform strategies designed to bolster the EU's capacity to act as it contemplates expansion to over 30 member states. It advocates for a flexible and dynamic structure through differentiated integration, with the single market serving as the central point of crystallization. This approach aims to accommodate the increasing diversity and complexity that come with a larger Union.

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