The Integration Capacity of the EU through an Overview of Published Works of the MAXCAP Project


With the MAXCAP project officially coming to its end in March 2016, BCSDN collected and summarized the main working papers in an overview of all research related to EU Enlargement process in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The publication contains also the policy briefs that aim to formulate specific policy recommendations for practitioners on the EU and/or national level.

The project: Maximizing the integration capacity of the European Union: Lessons and prospects for enlargement and beyond (MAXCAP) was a collaborative project of 9 partners consortium academic excellence that seek to explain the outcomes of the EU’s Enlargement process – and to assess conditions and mechanisms for improving those outcomes. MAXCAP investigates how a multiplicity of factors affect Enlargement in combinations and how the EU might maximize its integration capacity for current and future Enlargements and give concrete policy recommendations.

The published works of the project partners try to address the Enlargement form all perspectives with the aim to: explain the effects of the EU’s integration modes and strategies on democracy and socio-economic development in the new members, candidates and neighbourhood countries; inquire into the relationship between the widening and deepening of the EU by establishing conditions for effective decision-making and implementation in an enlarged EU; identify the social limits to the EU’s integration capacity related to citizens’ perceptions of the last and future Enlargements; study the EU’s current and past negotiation strategies in the context of Enlargement and investigate to what extent they need to be adjusted to changing conditions in the EU and the candidate countries; examine how the EU employs different modes of integrating countries with highly diverse economic powers, democratic qualities of governance, and institutional capacities and assess whether alternative models, such as the European Neighborhood Policy, can be successful in bringing countries closer to the EU.

The project was led by Freie Universität Berlin in coordination with Leiden University, and BCSDN’s role was to bring the perspective of civil society and practitioners from Western Balkan countries. The other project partners included: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Eidgenössische Hochschule Zürich (ETH), Sabanci University (SU), European University Institute (EUI), Central European University (CEU) and Sofia University (SU-BG).

The full overview and the selected collection of papers is available for download here, and can be found on our Issuu profile.


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