Narratives of Integration and Disintegration

For a long time, the European Union was perceived to travel on a linear journey toward deeper integration. However,  since the financial crisis, economic divergence and political controversy have dominated the debate on Europe. Populist parties are on the rise. Several Member States are structurally in breach of fundamental EU values, such as the rule of law, democracy and human rights. The most drastic example of a political force pulling the EU apart was the Brexit vote in the UK in 2016. It is fair to conclude that there is no political consensus on deeper integration – if it ever existed.

The 2017 ACELG conference was directed into the future. It tried to re-imagine the EU and questioned the appropriate level of integration in core policy fields. At the 2018 ACELG annual conference we plan to look back. The intention is to trace integration and disintegration dynamics and reflect on the narratives that are developed to explain them. What are these narratives? What leads their development? Who is writing these narratives? How do they frame the common image of European integration?

The conference traces the development of the narratives that shaped our image of the EU, such as ‘Lasting Peace in Europe’, ‘A European Community’, ‘An Ever Closer Union’, ‘Multilevel Governance’, ‘A Voice in the Globalised World’. It addresses the role of law formalising and in supporting the narratives, discussing issues and effects of legal phenomena, such as ‘integration through law’, ‘competence creep’, and ‘judicial activism’.


  • Mark Dawson, Professor of European Law and Governance,  Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
  • Sacha Garben, Professor of EU Law, College of Europe
  • Thomas Horsley, Senior Lecturer Law, University of Liverpool 
  • Siniša Rodin,  Judge at Court of Justice of the European Union & University of Zagreb
  • Sara Iglesias Sánchez, Référendaire Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Katja Seidel, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Westminster

The 8th ACELG Annual Conference will be followed by the inaugural lecture of Christina Eckes, Professor of European Law and director of the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, entitled The Paradox of EU External Relations: Taking Back Control.

The inaugural lecture will take place at 16:00 in the Aula of the University of Amsterdam, Singel 411 and is open to the public.



Roeterseilandcampus, Building A, REC A, room 3.15
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166





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