Centre for European and International Studies Research

Transnational European Union

Research on the European Union has so far concentrated on the integration process, major institutional changes and policies and policy-making at the European level. However, the EU is also a highly institutionalised political space which has encouraged and facilitated the formation of transnational networks of policy-makers, parties, non-governmental organisations and sub-state actors at the local and regional level.

These networks have an input into EU policy-making. Very often, however, they contribute to the trans-border debate of ideas, institutional arrangements and policy concepts and their (partial) transfer from one EU state to another, at the national, regional and local level.

This project focuses on those aspects of network formation and the transfer of ideas and institutional arrangements inside the EU which are not mainly related to policy-making at the European level, but nonetheless shape the political and social reality of the EU as an emerging transnational society in the wider context of globalisation. It includes the post-war development of such transnational networks and their operation in the current EU. The project is also linked with the CEISR focus on North and West Africa.

It includes research on the transnational networks of parties and NGOs, such as human rights groups, in these African regions, their possible contribution to democratisation and regional integration and stability, as well as the EU role in facilitating the formation of such civil society networks, through its own policy initiatives as well as through contacts of European parties and NGOs with actors in the regions.


Prof. Wolfram Kaiser