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Registration for MCEL/CERiM opening conference 2017/2018: Multi-speed Europe, Differentiated Integration and the Future of the European Union

Date: 12 September 2017

Time: 13:30 – 18:00 (Registration open from 12:45, please consult the attached programme for more information)

Venue: Lecture Hall at the University College Maastricht, Zwingelput 4, 6211 KH Maastricht, Netherlands

This event is open only for registered participants. In order to register, please fill in the form at the following link:

Admission to this event is free. However, places are limited and are on a first come first served basis. If you register and can no longer attend please make sure to deregister in advance by emailing: or there will be a €20 administration fee for failure to deregister. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact You may also consult the programme and a description of the event below:

In the last twenty years, academia in political sciences and law has focused on this policy concept of Europe à la carte, multi-speed Europe, variable geometry or concentric circles of cooperation. This discussion has been further revived with the nexus between deepening and enlarging the Union leading to concentric circles of cooperation between some EU Member States. Most of the notions such as ‘multi-speed Europe’, ‘Europe à la carte’, ‘variable geometry’, ‘hard-core Europe’ and a ‘Europe of concentric circles’ are used as policy concepts indicating the path of a future effective functioning of the European Union. It enables some Member States to pursue in certain policy fields the path of deeper integration and prevents a stand-still in the integration process. However, academic research has already for many years recognised differentiated integration on different levels of primary and secondary law as a defining governance feature of the Union. Flexibility becomes a policy and legal tool to reconcile heterogeneity of national interests, the diversity and sheer number of EU member States and the complexity of EU policy fields with each other and if applied within a predictable framework, strengthens European unity.

The idea of multispeed Europe has been prominently featured in the recent European Commission White Paper on the Future of Europe and defined by the Member States representatives in the March 2017 Rome Declaration celebrating 60 years of Rome Treaty as ‘acting together at different paces and intensity where necessary’. This MCEL/CERiM opening event takes up this topical issue, which is once more in the political and academic limelight, from an interdisciplinary perspective and reflects on differentiated integration as a general policy tool but also highlighting the existing legal framework and practice of differentiated integration of EU law and policy. This timely event will also highlight the findings of a research project by MCEL/CERiM researchers who have edited a recently published volume on 'Between Flexibility and Disintegration, The Trajectory of Differentiation in EU Law' published by Edgar Elgar. The opening event will bring together researchers working on this topic to summarise and discuss their research findings and take the opportunity to outline further research in the upcoming years.

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