EU-Consent was a network of excellence for joint research and teaching that analysed the construction of a new Europe over the period between 2005 and 2008. It addressed questions 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 tested 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.
IAI played a primary role in the project: it was represented on the Executive Board, directed the working package on "Political and security aspects of the EU's external relations" (WP VII) as well as the new interdisciplinary working group on "enlargement and ENP", and developed the EU-CONSENT website (WP IX). The part of the programme under IAI's responsibility aimed to analyse the dynamics influencing the complex relationship between the deepening of European integration and enlargement of the EU (also known as 'deepening' and 'widening'), particularly in the areas of CFSP and ESDP.
The project activities included two on-line publications, to which IAI contributed:
- EU-25 Watch (then EU-27 Watch), coordinated by the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP), Berlin;
- CFSP Forum, edited by the London School of Economics (LSE).