Next ITEM: Horizontal Integration

Friday 12 May 2023 10:30-15:30

In the academic EU governance world, there has been always a vibrant debate about the relationship between the EU and the member states. Research was focusing, for example, on the relationship of national and EU institutions and the negotiations in Brussels (Intergovernalism, Institutionalism). Less attention has so far been paid to integration processes at the border of two or more neighboring countries. Typically, even current border studies do not tackle cross-border integration between two neighboring countries as part of EU integration.


This Next ITEM is dedicated to the topic of so-called 'Horizontal Integration' as introduced by prof. Joachim Beck. According to Beck, the European border regions perform a specific horizontal integration function. The dimension of cross-border integration will be discussed during the first panel. After which the second panel will focus on the question of legitimacy and public participation in cross-border settings. Find more details on the website.




 Welcome and introduction: Prof. Anouk Bollen, Director ITEM


Introduction to the themes by the moderator Martin Unfried


First Key note presentation 


Horizontal Integration – An Administrative Science Perspective on Cross-Border Cooperation in Europe

Prof. Joachim Beck, Rektor Hochschule Kehl







First reflections

Loth van der Auwermeulen, PhD UHasselt


Martin Unfried: The concept in light of ITEM’s previous work


Open debate: Questions related to the concept. What could be the added-value for studying and improving cross-border cooperation and border regions in general with regards to the horizontal integration approach for analyzing cross-border problems and complexity?




Second Key note presentation


Cross-border governance and democratic challenges in Europe?

Dr. Peter Ulrich, Universität Potsdam

Kommunalwissenschaftliches Institut - KWI






First reflections

Loth van der Auwermeulen, PhD UHasselt

Martin Unfried


Open debate: What are future opportunities with respect to research on public participation and democratic deficits?


End of the Workshop