The composition of the proposed research group, in particular its interdisciplinary character, guarantee the existence of know-how for a successful completion of the project. The dual character of the project: its theoretical and applicative part provides for a mechanism of reflective equilibrium, which will facilitate the project’s results by its constant oscillation between theory and practical challenges. As the duration of the project is 36 months, it will be broken down, in accordance with its methodological character stipulated above, into three stages.
S1: Mapping the three visions of the future of the EU and their underlying theories
R1: Kick-off workshop with the members of the Advisory Board
R2: Establishment of the Network of EU Constitutional Experts
R3: (Draft) article on genealogy of European integration and its future.
R4: Academic Forum, publicly inaugurating the project.
R5: First Annual International Conference
O1: To elucidate the underlying, background theories informing the different approaches to the question of the object and purpose of the European Union and the modalities of its existence in the future.
O2: Review of hypothesis No 1.
FIRST STAGE will last from 0 – 9 months and will consist of mapping out very precisely the conceptual substance and borders of the three visions of the EU and of the three disparate theories of the EU they have been informed with. The goal of this stage is to elucidate the underlying, background theories, informing the different approaches to the question of the object and purpose of the EU and the modalities of its existence in the future. Essentially, this amounts to testing the hypothesis No 1. Five concrete research outcomes are anticipated at the first research stage. Setting up the Committee of Wise Persons and a formal launch of the project at the kick-off workshop; establishment of the International Academic Advisory Board; organization of an Academic Forum to publicly inaugurate the project; final draft of a theoretical article on genealogy of European integration and its future; organization of the First Annual International Conference.
S2: Evaluation and normative conceptualization
R6: Two Academic Fora to present the work in progress
R7: A scientific article for a Slovenian and international journal
R8: Presentation of the work in progress in international academic conferences, dissemination in the media, international research visits
R9: Second Annual International Conference
O3: To critically evaluate and select among the competing theories the most compelling one, in terms of its descriptive accuracy, explanatory persuasiveness and normative attractiveness.
O4: Review of hypothesis No 2.
SECOND STAGE will last from 10 – 21 months and will concentrate on the evaluation of the hence presented theories and visions of the EU in light of the practical challenges posed to the EU. This stage will also encompass a detailed conceptualization of a reformist vision of the EU, situated in the pluralist theoretical framework. It will thus feature the second dimension of the theoretical part of the project, dedicated to testing the hypothesis No 2. This stage too is expected to result in at least five research achievements: two public Academic Fora to present the work in progress to the specialized and interested laic audience; publishing two articles, one in a Slovenian and another in a leading international legal journal; the emphasis will be also laid on gathering information and dissemination of the research results (work in progress) in international academic conferences, national and international media as well as during the international research visits. Finally, a second Annual International Conference will be organized too.
S3: Developing a new constitutional design for the EU
R10: Two Academic Fora to present the work in progress
R11: At least 5 scientific articles in leading journals
R12: Participation at academic conferences, dissemination in the media
R13: Draft of on edited collection to be published with a leading international publisher
R14: Concluding Annual International Conference
O5: To develop a new constitutional design for the EU to respond to the constitutional challenges; the economic challenges, the challenges of security and defense; as well as to the ethical challenges of justice inside the European Union.
THIRD STAGE will, eventually, last from 22 to 36 months. This will mark the beginning of the second, eg applicative part of the project, which is anticipated to materialize in a concrete set of constitutional and institutional prescriptions for the EU’s functioning in the future. Concrete proposals for the reform of the constitutional, institutional, economic, security/defense and ethical structure of the integration will be laid down. This will also be the richest stage in terms of the planned research outcome. Again at least two Academic Fora to present the work in progress will be organized; more importantly several scientific articles in leading international journals are planned for this stage, at least one per researcher working on his/her specific policy field; participation at academic conferences, research visits at universities around Europe and dissemination in the media will take place as well. Finally, a concluding Annual International Conference will be organized. Its proceedings, and the research findings from the previous years, will be organized and prepared for a publication in an edited volume published by a leading international publisher or as a special edition of a leading international journal.
Furthermore, throughout the duration of the research project the subject matter of the research will be incorporated in the curricula of the main courses at the Faculty and theses on the selected topics from the research project will be supervised and produced. The members of the research group are also expected, as before, to share their research findings with governmental bodies, representations of the EU institutions in Slovenia, domestic and international NGOs as well as in the media appearances. A special website will be launched to disseminate the results of the project to the public at large.
Full implementation of the project’s goals will be ensured through an efficient system of administrative, library and accounting support at the university. The administrative support will be offered by Polona Batagelj and Maja Cigoj, legal assistants and reseachers, who are going to be in charge of logistics and organization of Academic Fora, international conferences as well as of other events related to the project. Scientific, in particular, bibliographic and other research-based support will be provided by the Head of the university Library, dr. Ines Vodopivec. In the financial management of the project a research group will be assisted by the Faculty accountant service.