Issue 3/2019 of integration

What conclusions can be drawn from the European elections regarding the European political and party system? To this, Rudolf Hrbek analyses the European elections and takes the Spitzenkandidaten procedure as example for the role of the European Parliament in the political and institutional framework of the European Union. Johannes Kohls and Manuel Müller examine in a forum article the causes of transformation in the European party system.

What influence will the French-German Aachen Treaty have on European integration? Central to Stefan Seidendorf’s article is a theory-based discussion of the implications for European integration.

How can the association of the neighbours of the EaP be shaped in a way that is satisfying for both sides? Tobias Schumacher traces the current debate on association policy towards the states of the EaP and highlights chances and challenges which result from an “association plus”.

The issue also contains a summary of the conference on regional and international cooperation in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, organized by the Institut für Europäische Politik and the Centre international de formation européenne, as well as a report of the “Arbeitskreis Europäische Integration” about the 2019 ZEW Public Finance Conference on “The Political Economy of European (Dis)Integration”.

European Elections 2019: New Political Constellations for the Electoral Period 2019-2024

Rudolf Hrbek

This article argues that the results of the European elections 2019 differ considerably in the 28 member states of the European Union since they were primarily determined by factors within the respective national context: the priorities in the political discourse and the actual configuration of the party system. The article identifies new political constellations for the European Parliament (the formation and composition of party groups incl. the relative weight of national groups as well as the relations between party groups) and asks about their impact on the role of the European Parliament in the electoral period 2019-2024 and on the inter-institutional relations. The Spitzenkandidaten procedure serves as a first test case.

Full text

France, Germany and European integration in the Aachen Treaty

Stefan Seidendorf

How “European” is the new Franco-German bilateral treaty signed in Aachen on 22 January 2019? And what kind of “Franco-German leadership for Europe” does it stipulate? The article starts by establishing a model of Franco-German cooperation and leadership in the European Union, which then allows to analyse the content of the treaty. The treaty can be seen as a strategic commitment to European integration and to Franco-German leadership. It outlines far-reaching ambitions in foreign policy cooperation as well as in the areas of security and defence, where the established European model is particularly prone to bilateral leadership. The treaty is more nuanced in the field of economic and social politics, where a Franco-German economic area shall be established. While this could potentially balance Franco-German asymmetries, it will also raise questions particularly amongst Eastern European Member States.

The European Union, the Eastern Partnership and ‘Association Plus’: On the Debate About the Integration of Associated Neighbours Below the Level of EU Membership

Tobias Schumacher

This article takes up the European Neighbourhood Policy-related debate on the future design of the association policy of the European Union (EU) towards the countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). It pursues two objectives. First, it examines – apart from a brief discussion of the origins and genesis of the concept of “association plus” in the context of the wider EU neighbourhood framework – how the intra-EU discourse on the future of the EaP has evolved and changed in recent years and which propositions are nowadays at the core of the debate. Secondly, it analyses these propositions, mainly revolving around the integration of EaP countries into the emerging Energy and Digital Union and the Schengen Area as well as the creation of bilateral customs unions, in what regards opportunities and challenges for the eastern neighbours. The article argues that “association plus”, as demanded by the European Parliament and some EaP countries, would generate considerable financial and political costs even for those eastern neighbours that have implemented significant reforms and that it seems acceptable only if it were explicitly declared as an intermediate step towards the granting of an EU membership perspective.

The European Parliament Elections 2019: Three Drivers of the Transformation in the European Party System

Johannes Kohls and Manuel Müller

The results of the European Parliament elections 2019 are a reflection of a longer-term transformation in the European party system, whereby (left-)liberal and right-wing forces are gaining votes at the expense of traditional centre-left and centre-right catch-all parties. This contribution highlights three societal reasons for this transformation: a new cleavage between inclusion and exclusion which gains importance with respect to the left-right cleavage, changes in the structure of public communication, and the catalytic effect of the European crises of the last years.


Yvonne Braun

Zentralasien und der Südkaukasus auf der regionalen und internationalen Bühne – Chancen und Herausforderungen


Annika Havlik

Europa und das Desintegrationsparadoxon

Directly order integration at Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft or in the bookstore.

Prices 2019: Yearly subscription Private (print-edition incl. online access) 78,– €; Yearly subscription for students (print-edition incl. online access) 44,– € (please send proof of enrollment); Yearly subscription for institutions (print-edition incl. online access) 148,– €; Single edition 22,– €. All prices include VAT, shipping comes at an additional cost (Shipping cost in Germany 13.65 Euro per year).

ISSN 0720-5120

Publisher: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft – Waldseestr. 3-5 – 76530 Baden-Baden – Tel: +49.7221.2104.0 Fax: +49.7221.2104.27