European Economic Integration Theory Revisited

Workshop supported by the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies

University of Szeged
23rd-24th March 2017

Call for Papers How to get to Szeged Registration

European integration is facing the most severe challenges since the signature of the Rome Treaty, the 60th anniversary of which will be celebrated in 2017. In these turbulent times we must remember that for six decades European integration has provided the conditions of a peaceful development for the continent and has served as a model for many regional organizations in other continents.

The responsibility for the future of Europe obliges us to search for creative and innovative solutions to finding a way out of the current crisis. In pursuit of this purpose, we invite distinguished experts to discuss some crucial theoretical issues of European economic integration.

At present, coincidence of several serious challenges (Eurozone crisis, Brexit, the slowdown of economic growth in the world economy, migration crisis, climate change etc.) makes it exceptionally difficult to find feasible and workable solutions. However, beyond these actual problems, there are serious unanswered theoretical questions as well. Although the conditions and circumstances of enlarged integration have fundamentally changed in comparison to the early times, the European integration concept continues to rely on the same integration theories as in the beginning. EU policies are based on the firm conviction that convergence in economic performance and institutional settings will remove the barriers to the successful accomplishment of the applied integration concept. Recent phenomena such as the permanent deep economic and social crisis in Greece or the Brexit referendum indicate that the original expectations have largely failed. Even if there is a basic Community acquis, turning its provisions into taboos is definitely not a solution. It is symptomatic, for example, that an outsider (non-European) organization, namely the IMF was the first to produce a report on the economic impact of emigration on Eastern Europe, the results of which stand in sharp contrast with the expected results of the free movement of labour in the EU.

In such challenging times, it is urgent and important to bravely question tacit assumptions of integration theories which have proven unsuccessful by now, and to examine the consequences of the unfulfilled assumptions. Some examples and questions to discuss are:

  • One of the greatest achievements of European integration is the free movement of labour. What are the conditions of an optimal impact on both sending and receiving countries? Are there identifiable differences between the short run economic and the long run social and economic impacts? How does the free movement of labour function across ageing societies? Is the neoclassical theory or new economic geography interpretations of the free movement of labour in line with reality? What are the possible policy implications of a realistic investigation?
  • It is obvious that FDI inflows have contributed to technological transfer, and have supported economic modernization in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). But spill-over effects seem to be more moderate than it had been expected at the beginning of transformation in these countries. Are there real opportunities for the CEE economies to overcome the current asymmetric interdependency in relation to Western European economies? What does empirical evidence show? What are the impacts of the slowdown of FDI inflows into CEE since the 2008 global crisis? What can be the future role of FDI in CEE?
  • What if the concept of an “ever closer union” eventually fails? What if structural reforms, convergence, catching-up etc. permanently fail in some countries? How can the EU cope with the persistent internal diversity in economic performance and institutional settings? How could a differentiated integration work, assuming that the reason for differentiated integration is not “cherry-picking” but the admitted missing capability to fulfil the requirements of deeper integration?

We call for papers which address the unanswered questions of European economic integration theories – without taboos but using the analytical tools of either economics or political economy with academic rigour.

Keynote Speakers:


23rd March 2017

10.00 – 12.15
Welcome address and plenary session
Buffet lunch
Parallel sessions
Coffee break
Parallel sessions
Conference dinner

24th March 2017

Parallel sessions
Coffee break
Plenary session
Buffet lunch
Parallel sessions


Kálvária sgt. 1. 6722 Szeged, Hungary


31st January Abstract submission
7th February Notification of abstract acceptance
15th March Full paper submission

Payment details:

Participation fee: 80 EUR
Payments due by 15th March 2017

The Conference fee should be paid by bank transfer directly to Universitas-Szeged Nonprofit Kft.

Universitas-Szeged Szolgáltató Nonprofit Kft.
Short name:
Universitas-Szeged Nonprofit Kft.
Bank name:
Erste Bank Hungary Nyrt.
Bank address:
Hungary 6720 Szeged Széchenyi tér 1.
Bank account number:
Swift code:
Bank telephone number:

Scientific Committee:

  • Dr. Magdolna Sass, President of the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies
  • Prof. Beáta Farkas, Head of Department of Finance and International Economic Relations, University of Szeged
  • Prof. Éva Voszka, Head of the Doctoral School in Economics, University of Szeged
  • Dr. Anita Pelle, Jean Monnet Chair, University of Szeged

Further information:

University of Szeged
H-6722 Szeged, Kálvária sgt. 1. Hungary

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