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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.

doc.funds doctoral college

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.

Rector congratulates SCEUS

Rector Hendrik Lehnert would like to congratulate the SCEUS on their impressive success: “This doctoral college is another important milestone in the development of our university, and I am particularly pleased that the PLUS can offer our academic talent another excellent training opportunity.”




  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Blauberger I Professor for Politics of the European Union
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gabriele Spilker I Professor of Empirical Research Methods

Blick aus der Edmundsburg auf Salzburg

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Blauberger

Professor for Politics of the European Union

University of Salzburg I Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies

Edmundsburg - Haus für Europa, Mönchsberg 2 I A-5020 Salzburg

Tel: +43 662 8044 7621

Email to Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Blauberger

Photograph: Luigi Caputo