Successful review meeting in Brussels
The EU3D team had a successful review meeting with the European Commission's Research Executive Agency in March 2020.
From left to right: Jozef Batora, Geir Kværk, Hans Joerg Trenz, Pauline Chetail, Guntram Wolff, Chris Lord, Dirk Leuffen, John Erik Fossum and Ben Rosamond. Not pictured, but also present at the review meeting: Magdalena Gora, Dia Anagnostou, Marit Eldholm and Sabine Saurugger.
EU3D started in February 2019, and had the first-year review meeting with the European Commission's Research Executive Agencey (REA) on 4 March 2020. EU3D project leaders (coordinator, heads of work packages and managers) met in Brussels just a few days before the coronavirus lockdown, and had the opportunity to discuss the project's progress with external monitors.
The participants discussed the project's overall research objectives, as well as EU3D's theoretical assumptions and expectations, and how the project was designed to address these in terms of its overall structure and orientation.
The evaluators underlined the project's relevance and were very interested in further understanding the nature and interaction among EU3D's three D's: differentiation, dominance and democracy, and the value added of thinking beyond the term of Differentiated Integration (DI).
Discussions then turned towards the team's extensive empirical work, including surveys, case studies, and cross-national comparative studies of parliamentary debates and EU reform proposals. These studies will increase our understanding of how the EU's current challenges are perceived and addressed among different actors, with the overall aim of contributing to democratic reforms that are sustainable and legitimate.
The project was commended for its variety of initiatives to disseminate and communicate its research and activities, which includes the website with an intranet, the first EU3D Future of Europe Lecture, the first EU3D Debate on the Future of Europe, an EU3D policy dialogue to follow up the European Council summit in Sibiu, and the set-up of a subscription-based newsletter. In terms of written output, the Future of Europe Blog, the EU3D Insights series and the EU3D Research Papers were launched. Three academic papers on the differentiated European political order were published in the latter series during the first year.
Overall, the evaluators praised the work done in the first project period, and extended their thanks to the whole consortium for their efforts. Their hopes for the project are high; now the EU3D team will work hard to deliver what is believed to be 'an excellent project with excellent results'.