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Princeton-Humboldt Partnership

The EU Program at Princeton and the Berlin School of Social Sciences at Humboldt (BGSS) have been granted a Princeton-Humboldt Partnership (2013-2015) for the project "Fortress Europe? How the Rest of the World Shapes European Integration" (EUROFORT) under the direction of Sophie Meunier (Princeton) and Ellen Immergut (Humboldt).


The European Union (EU) is the unique exemplar of a collective of states which enjoys both supra-national powers and binding procedures for democratic decision-making. Yet in spite of its remarkable accomplishments over more than fifty years, the EU is now in crisis. It is challenged, as perhaps never before, to develop internal cohesion and solidarity while simultaneously opening up its borders in a globalizing world. This creates both opportunities and challenges for Europe: opportunities, because the external pressures emanating from the rest of the world—from competition from emerging economies to the contagious diffusion of international crises—can provide a centripetal impulse forcing European states to accelerate the process of European integration; but also challenges, because the new cut-throat international competition provides centrifugal pressures for EU member states to abandon their European partners and jettison the accomplishments of European integration.

The EUROFORT project examines the process of European integration in a new light, by focusing on how it has and will develop in response to external pressures. Three key sources of such pressures on the EU studied under EUROFORT are: 1) international economic competition; 2) increasing international migration (legal and illegal); 3) growing demographic and climate imbalances that radically affect policies ranging from environmental and agricultural policies to the sustainability of social policies.

This focus on external pressures raises a variety of research questions, such as: Will the pressures from the rest of the world turn the EU into a fortress, to be built in order to resist change? Under what conditions can the European Union extend its competencies in the international political economy? Will new forms of supra-national democratic governance emerge or will we see ever more delegation to ‘non-majoritarian’ authorities and agencies? The answers to these questions are critical both for the future of Europe and for our understanding of the possibilities and limits of international governance relying on democratic cooperation and accountability in today’s global world.

For 2013-2015, the EUROFORT research cooperation is organized in three main poles.

Pole 1: The politics of Foreign Direct Investment in Europe (Sophie Meunier)

Pole 2: Migration and citizenship (Rafaela Dancygier and Mark Helbling)

Pole 3: European identity (Ellen Immergut and Konstantin Voessing)

Summer grants and RA opportunities for Princeton and Humboldt students

1. Summer Research Assistance Grant in Europe

The object of the research is to help Dr. Sophie Meunier with:

• collecting information about the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) screening procedures (and their history) in the EU;
• collecting information about the FDI promotion incentives available in EU countries, and those geared especially toward Chinese investors;
• collecting information about national and local leaders visits to China and reciprocally.

The research needs to be completed by the end of July 2014. RA applicants can come either from Humboldt or from Princeton under the EUROFORT grant. For Princeton students, the deadline is January 1, 2014 and the grant will include the cost of travel to Europe plus one to two months of research in Europe, with a visit to Humboldt University. For more information on the project please contact Sophie Meunier at

The 2014 Princeton-Humboldt EUROFORT summer grants have been announced!

The recipients are William Beacom '15, Domagoj Babic '16, Zach Ogle '15, and Carolyn Yang '15 for the project on FDI policy in Europe and Yossi Harpaz for the project on EU identity. Congratulations!

2. Short-term summer research assistance opportunities available for Princeton students to help Humboldt professor Marc Helbling with research on "How to Control Labor Migration in Europe".