News archive - [Partner Search] FP7 SSH - Enlargement and the integration capacity of the EU

Obviously the topic in the current call "Enlargement and the integration capacity of the EU" is highly relevant for SSH researchers from the Western Balkan countries. We would like you to get in touch with us ( and inform us about your capacities to deal with this topic. We will post profiles again here on the website connected to this news (see attachments) and also forward them to coordinators who are applying for projects in this domain.

The information provided in the workprogramme is the following:

Area 8.5.2. Diversities and commonalities in Europe
The main objective is to understand the impacts and future developments of the EU enlargement process in a comparative perspective, addressing alternative methods of integrating countries in the EU sphere, as well as mechanisms facilitating or inhibiting more countries from joining.
Expected Impact
In view of recent and future enlargements, research will provide input for policy formulation, development and implementation, and more broadly, for its current and future relations with the countries studied. Projects will involve relevant scientific communities, stakeholders and practitioners so as to integrate insights from them in the empirical as well as theoretical inquiry.

Topic for a Collaborative Project (small or medium-scale focused research project):
SSH.2012.5.2-1. Enlargement and the integration capacity of the EU: past experience and future prospects
The European Union has been marked by successive waves of enlargement. There are currently a number of countries at various stages on the road towards EU membership, and others have also declared their ambition to join. Every enlargement has raised hopes that it would strengthen the common European project and bring stability, democracy and prosperity to all parts of Europe. This has indeed occurred to a notable extent. However, others have expressed concern that admitting more countries might lead to dilution of core policies and impede the EU's integration.
Research should:

  • Look in a comparative perspective into the question of how past and present enlargement processes impacted on individual citizens, and how they were perceived by them, the Member States, and the accession countries themselves. Proposals should highlight what lessons can be drawn for ongoing and future EU enlargements. Research should address the question of the relationship between widening and deepening of the European Union, how these two objectives have been reconciled in the past and whether/how they can be reconciled in future. Questions may include whether there are limits to the number of EU members in political, economic, social, and cultural terms, and what their nature is. The extent of so-called ‘enlargement fatigue’ and how it can be addressed should be researched.
  • Examine EU enlargement policies and investigate whether they re-structure neighbouring countries and regions (e.g. the Western Balkans) and whether these policies de- or re-structure geopolitical, socio-economic and cultural boundaries.
  • Investigate in a comparative perspective the existing alternative and complementary models of integrating countries that may not have the prospect of accessing the European Union, such as the European Neighbourhood Policy, and give indications with regard to the comparative advantages and disadvantages of such models.
  • Address the key mechanisms that facilitate or inhibit the accession of new members, taking the examples of individual countries, as well as regions. Investigations could take into account factors such as provisions related to economic integration, freedom of movement, solidarity, environmental protection, internal security, geopolitical factors and cultural differences.

Source: SSH Workprogramme 2012

Please react asap and send your competence profile to!

Deadline for the proposals is February 2, 2012.


Please find the profiles of interested users in the attachments and consider also


Geographical focus
  • International; Other

Entry created by Elke Dall on December 16, 2011
Modified on November 18, 2011