"EU-CONSENT" as a network of excellence for joint research and teaching will look at the construction of a new Europe especially from 2005-2008. It will address the question of the mutual reinforcing effects of deepening and widening by developing and working with three sets of expectations for analysing the past and developing an innovative framework for the future integration beyond Western Europe. Within such a conceptual framework 25 teams will test lessons from the past in view of their academic and political validity for discussing visions and scenarios for the future. The major leitmotiv is that the Union is in the full process of reinventing itself - a development which is however difficult to grasp and explain. The common framework will include integrating activities (conferences, workshops, activities in plenum and teams), common research (EU-25 Watch, WEB-CONSENT), teaching activities (traditional courses, virtual study units on EU deepening and widening, PhD Centre of Excellence and internships for young researchers) and dissemination activities (public events and common publications). The results of the integrating activities will flow into common databases such as the E-Library, a multilingual glossary on EU deepening and widening, bibliographies and core curricula, which will all be made available on the CONSENT-WEB. It will also offer yardsticks for observing the progress made by the whole project. The open character of the network, which aims at being a "network of networks", together with a full integration of young researchers into the network, respect of gender equality and concern for sustainability, are the core principles of EU-CONSENT. Its management will be based upon a consolidated structure, following a decentralised approach. As an academic and policy-oriented network EU-CONSENT will be closely linked to political and administrative decision-makers on EU and national level as well as to civil society.
European Commission, Research Directorate-General, Brüssel, BE
01.06.2005 - 31.05.2009