Research Program

Research at the Institute for European Integration Research (EIF) focuses on European Union policies and the national and global effects of Europeanisation.

I. Areas of Research

We analyse, in particular, the EU’s competences and regulatory activities with regard to problem-solving capacities in the multi-level European system.

Within this analytical field, the Institute lends itself to three closely related and non-exclusive research areas:


II. Specific Approach to Research: Focus on EU Policy Areas

European integration is not a uniform, standardized phenomenon. An integral characteristic of EU integration is the existence of significant differences between individual policies. This applies even to the most fundamental factors, including:

Considering these and other differences specific to particular policies, systemic comparative analysis of various activities of the European Union allow for a better understanding of the European multi-level system. Central questions can thus be more easily analysed in cumulative, variable-oriented studies, including:

The differentiated analysis of individual EU policies and their structured comparison is today an indispensable tool in European integration research, and is therefore expressly used by EIF in order to further the development of theories of political steering and of problem-solving in multi-level systems.


III. Research Fields

The EIF specializes in teamwork and focuses on collaborative projects in flexible combinations. The studies can be loosely divided into three separate thematic areas that at the same time intertwine. Two groups of EU-policies can be distinguished on the basis of either the member or third states being the main addressee. Consequently, each group is subject to specific conditions and dynamics. At the same time, EIF focuses on the (non-)implementation of EU policies and the effect of these measures in practice, which in turn vary according to sector and selected policy instrument.

Research Fields:


IV. Specific Research and Publication Strategies

Regarding research and publication strategies, EIF pursues a targeted policy that combines innovation and consolidation.
Present-day research faces major challenges: a) undue growth of publications with diminishing informational content and innovation; b) over-specialisation on specific issues, quantitative vs. qualitative methods, and/or the use of theoretical lenses; c) growing hurdles to the availability of publications for researchers outside the most wealthy research institutions due to the pricing policy of market-oriented publishers.
In view of these challenges, EIF serves the scientific community by performing an aggregating function:

Through such public-interest projects and consolidating activities, EIF serves the scientific community in the field of European integration.