New Options for Differentiated Integration in the European Union: Introduction to the Special Section

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Abstract: This Article provides insights into the question of whether there is a tension between commonness and differentiation in EU policies, in particular post-Brexit. Brexit triggered new discussions on so-called differentiated integration (DI) in the European Union. Not only was Brexit perceived as a potential tool to take further integrative steps in certain policy areas, it also pointed to the idea that there is a risk in trying to force each and every Member State to follow the same pace. Hence, while part of the scholarship sees Brexit as a tragedy for the European integration process, others have pointed to possible advantages that would allow for further integration in certain areas. In any case, the present Special Section underlines that Brexit seems to have renewed the debate on the ways in which the EU Member States could proceed, together or in smaller groups. It takes stock of the DI possibilities in different concrete policy areas and highlights options and obstacles.

Keywords: differentiated integration – differentiation – Brexit – European integration – PESCO –  EU polices.

European Papers, Vol. 7, 2022, No 3, pp. 1141-1144
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/604

* Professor of Public International Law and European Law, University of Salamanca,
** Professor of European Law, University of Groningen,


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