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How to design smart and lean regional integration that works, also outside the EU: Two day international CompaRe conference

On the 31st August and 1st September 2023, CompaRe hosted a conference on “Smart and lean integration: finding regional solutions to global challenges” in Leiden University’s Campus The Hague.

Our world is facing unprecedented challenges which demand a joint response, including climate change, migration and our modern (digital) economy. These shared challenges, moreover, have to be addressed in a rapidly renationalizing world.

Regional integration may be one part of the solution, in collaboration with other vital actors at the international and national level. For regional integration to play this role, however, we need to find better ways for countries to collaborate than the mechanisms that exist today. Ways that better fit the very different challenges and realities in Africa, Asia, Latin-America, the Middle East, and Europe.

This was the key focus of the two-day international conference organized by CompaRe, the Leiden Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on comparative regional integration, and in collaboration with UNU-CRIS, the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies.

Substantively, the conference focused on three core challenges: climate change, migration, and economic collaboration in a digital, renationalizing reality. In addition, it focused on two key underlying academic challenges: the methodology of comparative legal integration and the challenges raised by overlap between regional initiatives and between regional and even larger, global initiatives.

The conference brought together academics from over 15 countries and four continents, covering a broad array of regional organizations and substantive topics. The intention is to publish the papers presented during the conference in an edited volume in the United Nations University Series on Regionalism (Springer).

For more information, please contact Armin Cuvyers, director of CompaRe.

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