Differentiated Integration Manual

The present manual offers to policymakers and practitioners a comprehensive toolkit for the design, choice, and assessment of differentiated integration schemes, intended as a ready reference and collection of resources for all people working on European integration and on policy problems and solutions that may benefit from the use of legal differentiation and flexibility. The manual presents the state of the art of academic research on differentiated integration, distils policy-relevant insights in a synthetic and accessible form, and is built as digital ‘living document’ which will be further developed and updated on a regular basis. Its content is based on three years of work by a large team of specialists in the framework of the Integrating Diversity in the European Union (InDivEU) research project, which has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 20202 programme (grant agreement number 822304).

We invite you to explore the manual and find the contents and resources you may find most helpful for your specific purposes. The second chapter gives an overview of what we currently know about differentiated integration on the basis of the best available empirical evidence and research. The third chapter offers concrete recommendations for the assessment and design of differentiated integration schemes. The fourth chapter presents alternative forms of flexible integration and their strengths and weaknesses compared to differentiated integration. The fifth chapter discusses the use of external differentiated integration, that is the selective alignment of third countries with EU norms and policy regimes. The sixth and final chapter provides direct access to a variety of useful resources: a series of thematic policy briefs and fact sheets on specific issues; five original datasets on the prevalence of differentiated integration in EU law as well as on the relevant preferences of citizens, parties, governments, and stakeholders; an annotated list of links to key external sources; a comprehensive bibliography of the academic literature on differentiated and flexible integration; and a searchable database of available experts who can assist you with inquiries and requests for collaborations.


License and citation

The manual is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0) International license. It can be freely used and reproduced without permission for any non-commercial and commercial purpose, so long as attribution is given to the creator. We recommend the following citation format: Chiocchetti, Paolo (2021). Differentiated integration manual. Fiesole: EUI.

The original version of the Manual was developed on 31 October 2021. The contents were last updated on 31 November 2021.


Do you have a specific question? Do you need advice in assessing issues and designing solutions for your institution? Are you looking to contract someone to write a report, deliver a lecture, or organise a workshop? Are you a journalist with a request for an interview? Ask our experts!

Together with other research institutions, we have developed a directory of hundreds of world-class experts on differentiation and flexibility, searchable by category, policy area, region, and country of expertise. The experts’ directory can be accessed on the website of our partner project Differentiation: Clustering Excellence (DICE).

For inquiries and suggestions, please contact Dr Paolo Chiocchetti at paolo.chiocchetti (@) eui.eu.