Switzerland in the European Research Area: Integration Without Legislation


  • Sandra Lavenex

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Lucerne
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    • Sandra Lavenex is Professor of International Relations at the University of Lucerne and visiting professor at the Collège d'Europe. Her research focuses on the external dimension and international repercussion of European integration, international and European migration governance, and international democracy promotion.

Universität Luzern, Seminar für Politikwissenschaft, Hirschmattstrasse 25, CH-6000 Luzern, Switzerland. Phone: +41 (0)41 228 77 46; Email: sandra.lavenex@unilu.ch.


From the point of view of modes of governance and constellations of interdependence, EU research policy offers ideal conditions for the flexible inclusion of non-member states: it is based on transgovernmental coordination through policy networks rather than supranational legislation, it follows scientific rather than political imperatives, and cooperation is in the interest of both the EU and of Switzerland. This article analyses the degree to which these factors have allowed for Switzerland's inclusion into the regulatory and organisational aspects of EU research policy, and highlights the limits of such flexible sectoral integration.