Love thy neighbour 2035: three scenarios for external differentiation

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Series Details 2021/64, Number 64
Publication Date 2021
ISBN 9789294661388


This paper presents an analytical set of scenarios on the future use of external differentiation in the European Union by 2035. The three scenarios outline and assess paradigmatic alternatives available to the EU to develop its relationship with third countries: ‘extended family’ (EU enlargement), ‘close-knit community’ (external integration), and ‘good fences make good neighbours’ (external disintegration). External differentiation turns out to be a useful alternative to both EU enlargement and no integration, but its desirability is constrained by several feasibility, functional, and normative problems. The set of scenarios offers to policymakers, experts, and citizens a useful tool to think about the future of EU external relations and support the design of appropriate strategies and institutional solutions.

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