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Research project

DiCE - Differentiation: clustering excellence

This consortium transforms state-of-the-art research on 'differentiation' - the process where some EU member states decide to move ahead together on some policy areas, while others do not - into accessible advice and scenarios for policy-makers at European, national and regional levels.

DiCE is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme’s 2018-2019 governance call - Past, present and future of differentiation in European governance, under Grant Agreement no. 870789.

Differentiation: Clustering Excellence (DiCE) is a Horizon2020-funded project, which started in January 2020 and will run for three years. Its main objective is to ensure that state-of-the-art research on differentiation is translated into policy advice and made accessible to policy-makers at European, national and regional levels. The ultimate goal is to better prepare the EU for various scenarios of differentiation; ‘differentiation’ describes the process where some member states decide to move ahead together on some policy areas, while others do not.

DiCE, as a Coordination and Support Action, aims to create a unique cluster of excellence by bringing together, through their coordinators, the three successful H2020 projects on differentiation: EU Differentiation, Dominance and Democracy (EU3D), Integrating Diversity in the European Union (InDivEU), and EU Integration and Differentiation for Effectiveness and Accountability (EU IDEA). These projects collectively constitute an unparalleled critical mass of scholars on differentiation.

DiCE is coordinated by the Robert Schuman Centre at the European University Institute in a consortium of five prestigious academic institutions and organisations and will pool the research and experience on differentiation of 38 partner institutions from across Europe, involving more than 50 leading scholars and including universities, think tanks and media.

The Project

DiCE aims to foster the link between research and policy by establishing a dynamic and inclusive network of stakeholders on differentiation, open to academic and non-academic experts, policy-makers and others, expanding beyond the existing consortia of the project cluster. It also aims to provide the basis for a long-term involvement of those in the network and beyond in activities related to differentiation beyond the lifetime of the project and its three constituting parts.

The project undertakes a comprehensive stocktaking and synthesis of research in order to provide a complete picture on this complex subject. The outcome of this work has been illustrated in a ‘Differentiation Manual’, and presented in a ‘Differentiation Portal’. This will include extensive information on academic publications and experts across the continent.

DiCE will maps, synthesises and develops future scenarios on differentiation across a selection of policy areas and test them. The project provides decision-makers with an understanding of uncertain future(s) with the objective of stimulating the EU’s capacity and resilience. Its communication and dissemination activities play a major role in achieving the project’s goals. In fact, DiCE does not only synthesise and exploit the results of InDivEU, EU3D and EU IDEA projects, but also increases their output’s dissemination and communication towards the community of scholars, policy-makers and civil society, thereby leveraging the full potential of excellence.

Thanks to the unique nature of its consortium, DiCE can count on a broad and geographically relevant outreach. The 38 partner institutions of the three cluster projects are located in 19 countries, of which 14 EU Member States and five affiliated countries (Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey). DiCE’s outreach is further amplified by the comprehensive research and policy network provided by Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), present in 37 European countries.

Find out more about the outputs and publications of the project on its website.

The team

Group members

External Partners

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