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European Integration

Research on European Integration (EI)

EI research investigates the complex, multilayered structure of the European Union. The EU is studied as a unique example of regional cooperation, increasingly influenced by global developments.

EI research focuses on actors, institutions, policy-making and decision-making in the European context, studied in past and present. Not only the interests of institutions and actors are subject of study, but also the ideas and values on which these interests are based and which find their expression in the policy-making process.

Three central research areas can be distinguished:

1. Research into the mutual relationship between ‘founding father’ the Netherlands and the European Union. To what extent has this relationship been subject to change during the most recent decades and how should this possible change be explained?

2. Research into the EU’s internal security policies (the former ‘third pillar’ of the EU Treaty) since the Lisbon Treaty. What is the current state of affairs regarding EU cooperation in the areas of police and justice and what are the main developments in (communitarian) asylum- and migration-policies?  How do the latter affect the process of policy-making and administration in the member-states?

3. Research into the relationship between the EU and two important (emerging) regions outside Europe: North Africa and South East Asia. Concerning North Africa, particular emphasis is placed on democratization movements in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries, as a direct consequence of the ‘Arab Spring’. With respect to South East Asia the focus is on EU-China relations, in particular the process of EU inter-institutional policy-making regarding the PRC.

For more information about the IR department, please visit: The Department of International Relations and International Organization

  • Testimonial van

    Regional integration particularly fascinates me

    'I chose European Integration after developing a specific interest in the European Union during my Bachelor's degree programme in International Relations and International Organization (IRIO). Regional integration particularly fascinates me, hence my decision to follow a placement at Interreg Flanders–the Netherlands. Interreg is a European funding programme which stimulates collaboration between parties from several countries in projects in the field of spatial and regional development.

    I really enjoy the Master's track. You’re given a lot of autonomy, and you’re really encouraged to develop new ideas. The professors and lecturers treat you as an equal, which gives you a lot of self-confidence and motivation.

    Alongside my degree programme, I’m active in the International Research by Students Programme (IRSP), which helps IRIO Master’s students find opportunities to conduct research for professional partners such as businesses, government organizations and embassies. This year I’m leading a research project for Koneksie, a social enterprise which deals with mobility problems in Kenya. The project involves all the different aspects of IRIO, from economics and international law to culture. After graduating, I’m planning to go abroad to study for a second Master’s degree in order to broaden my knowledge.’

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