Princeton-Humboldt Partnership EUROFORT

The EU Program at Princeton and the Berlin School of Social Sciences at Humboldt (BGSS) have been granted a Princeton-Humboldt Strategic Partnership (2013-2017) for the project "Fortress Europe? How the Rest of the World Shapes European Integration" (EUROFORT) under the direction of Sophie Meunier (Princeton) and Ellen Immergut (Humboldt).

The European Union (EU) is the unique exemplar of a collective of states which enjoys both supra-national powers and binding procedures for democratic decision-making. Yet in spite of its remarkable accomplishments over more than fifty years, the EU is now in crisis. It is challenged, as perhaps never before, to develop internal cohesion and solidarity while simultaneously opening up its borders in a globalizing world. This creates both opportunities and challenges for Europe: opportunities, because the external pressures emanating from the rest of the world—from competition from emerging economies to the contagious diffusion of international crises—can provide a centripetal impulse forcing European states to accelerate the process of European integration; but also challenges, because the new cut-throat international competition provides centrifugal pressures for EU member states to abandon their European partners and jettison the accomplishments of European integration. The EUROFORT project examines the process of European integration in a new light, by focusing on how it has and will develop in response to external pressures. Three key sources of such pressures on the EU studied under EUROFORT are: 1) international economic competition; 2) increasing international migration (legal and illegal); 3) growing demographic and climate imbalances that radically affect policies ranging from environmental and agricultural policies to the sustainability of social policies.

This focus on external pressures raises a variety of research questions, such as: Will the pressures from the rest of the world turn the EU into a fortress, to be built in order to resist change? Under what conditions can the European Union extend its competencies in the international political economy? Will new forms of supra-national democratic governance emerge or will we see ever more delegation to ‘non-majoritarian’ authorities and agencies? The answers to these questions are critical both for the future of Europe and for our understanding of the possibilities and limits of international governance relying on democratic cooperation and accountability in today’s global world.

For 2013-2017, the EUROFORT research cooperation was organized in three main clusters.

Pole 1: The politics of Foreign Direct Investment in Europe (Sophie Meunier)

Pole 2: Migration and citizenship (Rafaela Dancygier and Mark Helbling)

Pole 3: The transformation of European Health Systems (Ellen Immergut and Konstantin Voessing)