Doctoral College AT Sceus Tries to Close "gaps" in the EU

Blick von der Edmundsburg auf Salzburg I Foto: © Luigi Caputo

Blick von der Edmundsburg auf Salzburg I Foto: © Luigi Caputo


The doc.funds college at the Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies (SCEUS) at Paris Lodron University Salzburg (PLUS) investigates the "Challenges of European Integration".

The European Union (EU) faces unprecedented challenges from Covid-19 to democratic backsliding and climate change at a time when political and societal contestation has markedly increased.

Two "gaps" in the integration process

As a result, two problem-solving gaps are widening. Internally, the EU faces a severe "commitment-compliance gap": it still generates agreement on binding rules, but member states are often unwilling to render these rules effective in practice. Externally, the EU’s "capabilities-expectations gap" is wider than ever before as the list of global problems requiring European engagement is getting longer whereas the EU’s already modest action capacities are contested.

Against this background, six doctoral students from political science will study the precise dimensions of these gaps, their institutional and societal causes and ways for closing them.


The doc.funds doctoral college builds on the success of the existing doctoral programme at Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies (SCEUS) co-financed by the Swiss Humer foundation since 2008. It benefits from SCEUS’ excellent environment as an interdisciplinary focus area of PLUS and as a unique institution in the Austrian academic landscape.

Highest international standards

The entire faculty of the political science department shares a strong track record in studying European integration from sub-disciplinary perspectives of EU politics, international relations, comparative and Austrian politics and joins forces to train innovative, independent early career scholars according to highest international standards. The training programme combines structured methodological training with individual measures tailored to the needs of doctoral students, particularly aiming at building professional networks and promoting international mobility.


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