News 2008

12 December 2008: New research financed by ÖNB

A project on the 55 most dramatic cases of non-compliance with EU law, those with second referrals to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, will be funded. It had been submitted by Gerda Falkner and Andreas Obermaier to the Jubiläumsfonds of the Austrian National Bank in June 2008. Political science theories on policy implementation will be put to test.


4 – 5 December 2008: Conference with ÖGPW

The Institute for European Integration Research held a joint conference with the Austrian Political Science Association on the Treaty of Lisbon and its effects in two policy areas (foreign and security policy, justice and home affairs). Approximately 50 people attended the panel discussion, amongst them several well-known experts from Germany and Austria. High-ranking scholars, including from Lausanne and from Strasbourg Universities, presented papers in the two workshops during the following day.


3 December 2008: Internal project concluded

The first co-operative internal research project under new directorship results in a 90 page Working Paper published on our website. The text compares five EU policy areas regarding the effects of the Lisbon Treaty's coming into force (or, alternatively, its failure). One insight from the comparative approach is that the Lisbon Treaty outshines previous EU reforms in terms of introducing new explicit objectives, improved policy instruments, new explicit competences and room for decisions without unanimity requirement, in the policies discussed: energy, social, foreign, security & defence as well as justice & home affairs.


October 2008: New research projects and applications

A collaborative project with the ETH Zurich, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and further partners will study “post-accession compliance” with EU policies in the new member states from Central and Eastern Europe. Has the performance of countries like Bulgaria or Romania improved or even further declined after the strict controls preceding membership became history? Gerda Falkner and Frank Schimmelfennig will direct two workshops in Vienna and Zurich. A special issue for a refereed international journal is in preparation.

A further project with national and international collaborators will also include one of the most highly regarded political scientists worldwide, Fritz Scharpf (former director in the German Max Planck Society). His work on the Joint-Decision-Trap is an influential theorem in the field of European integration. The Institute for European Integration Research strives to accomplish the first variable-based, comparative study on both stalemate and breakthrough dynamics in different EU policy areas. Two workshops will bring together outstanding international experts and staff members of the Institute for European Integration Research to analyse both theoretical and empirical aspects. The final results of this project will be a book manuscript to be submitted to a top-level international publisher.

The Institute for European Integration Research is a collaborator in two proposals for an ESF Research Networking Programme. One is entitled “Comparative European e-Government Research: Explaining variations in policy and implementation across EU Member States”. Partner institutions are, inter alia, the University of Oxford and the Centre for Political Research at Sciences Po, Paris. The Institute will also be a partner in a submission on “Democratization in Europe: Concepts and Agendas” with universities from Finland, Spain and Italy.


13 October 2008: First EIF “Annual Project” launched

In order to experience and demonstrate that a research institute is more than the sum of its staff, the Institute for European Integration Research has introduced in its mid-term Work Programme regular joint research endeavours. The Institute’s staff will hence embark on a collective research project, sometimes cooperating with well-known international scholars to widen our horizons and our empirical clout.

In the first year after the Institute’s fresh start with its present work programme, we envisage a comparatively small endeavour focusing on the Lisbon Treaty and its potential effects on different EU policy areas. Our goals are research in an important field of contemporary EU analysis, team building (since this is the first year with new research programme and staff), and a joint publication in our working paper series. The core scientific staff of EIF will get together for internal research seminars on five days between October 13 and December 1, 2008.

Among the questions asked are: How much change might the new Treaty bring about if ever implemented? How great are the differences in impact on the levels of overall policy goals, specific intervention competences, available instruments and decision making modes? How much of the innovations could be effectuated without a formal change in the Treaty basis?


1 September 2008: Hosting a section of ÖGPW

The „European Integration“ section of the Austrian Association for Political Science will now be coordinated at the Institute for European Integration Research by Gerda Falkner. The first public event is scheduled for 15 September.


30 August 2008: Editing an innovative Journal

The “Living Reviews in European Governance” (LREG) will now be published at the EIF, under the auspices of the ECSA-Austria, the European Community Studies Association. Gerda Falkner, Director of the EIF, is the Editor-in-Chief of this multidisciplinary electronic Journal. LREG publishes solicited state-of-the-art articles in the field of European integration and governance research that are fully refereed according to highest international standards, and will regularly be kept up-to-date by their authors. This is a co-operation with the Max Planck Society in Germany. In this context, two Directors founded the Living Reviews in Solar Physics and the Living Reviews in Relativity. The first Living Review Journal has meanwhile been included in the Sciences Citation Index, which is a promising sign also for the Living Reviews in European Governance, the first such journal in the Social Sciences.


15 August: Book publication

A new book has just been published: Gerda Falkner / Oliver Treib / Elisabeth Holzleithner, Compliance in the Enlarged European Union: Living Rights or Dead Letters? Aldershot et al., Ashgate. This volume looks into how EU legislation in various social policies works in practice, in particular in Central and Eastern European states. It follows on from a previous study on the EU-15 („Complying with Europe“, Cambridge University Press 2005: Best Book in EU Studies Prize 2005–2007 awarded by the European Union Studies Association of the USA).


July 2008: Project submission

Gerda Falkner and Andreas Obermaier submitted a research proposal on „Nichteinhaltung von EU-Recht: Die schlimmsten Verstöße im Ländervergleich" to the Jubiläumsfonds of the Austrian National Bank. Although few projects from the social sciences have received funding in recent years, the economic and political salience of this topic as well as the manifold aspects of relevance for Austrian politics have encouraged us to do so.


February 2008: New Research Programme

A new research agenda on European integration issues was set up on the basis of a cooperative discussion process amongst all team members. More emphasis will be put on different policy fields and their multi-dimensional fragmentation within the EU’s system of multi-level governance. Within the scope of re-orientation (as suggested by the relevant Reform Committee of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in summer 2007), the EIF will confine itself to research on European integration and to the disciplinary basis of political science. Depending on the issue at stake pluri-, inter-, and transdisciplinary co-operation with external partners may be envisaged. Further information is on our website.


January 2008: New Director

As of January 1st 2008, the Institute for European Integration Research will be headed by Prof. Dr. Gerda Falkner. She is also Associate Professor at the University of Vienna and is until August 2008 Head of the Political Science Department of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna. For further information, please visit our website, “Team – Falkner”.