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29 Sep 2006

From Threat to Opportunity

Making Flexible Integration Work

Sebastian Kurpas / José I. Torreblanca / Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul / Julia De Clerck-Sachsse

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EPIN Working Paper No. 15 / 9 pages

The authors of this new EPIN paper argue for a thorough reappraisal of flexibility as an instrument of integration and outline the conditions under which it would help the enlarged European Union to move forward. In particular, treaty-based ‘enhanced cooperation’ should be regarded as a useful tool that avoids many of the potentially disintegrating effects of purely intergovernmental approaches. In a Union of soon-to-be 27 members, enhanced cooperation could turn the idea of flexible integration from a measure of threat to a real opportunity for deeper integration.