Jean Monnet Chair

About us

The Chair, Digital Europe and Future Integration, focuses on new technologies and the impact it will have on the European integration process. The future is digital and the EU must prepare for it. Digitalisation is important for the development of the society and offers numerous possibilities. European integration in the digital field could be relevant because mostly is not still entailed by national sovereignty. It opens prospects for deepening the Union reducing the potential opposition of the actors involved. The Chair/project focus on three main priorities:

  1. 1- Digital Single Market and EU integration.
  2. 2- E-governance and the EU demos.
  3. 3- Digital ethics In addition, the Chair is complemented with two other fields of teaching/research:
  4. 4- Cyber-security and EU integration.
  5. 5- New Technologies and Common Defence Policy in the EU, including a set of complementary aspects. The Chair analyses the positive potential consequences of integrating these new areas in relation to further development of the European Union. DEFI entails teaching five courses, the creation of five research groups, focused on the priorities of the project. The main activities are accompanied with an ambitious plan of activities. The EU will digitalize itself and the Chair will help in the process.


The European Union is facing a digital transition, reflecting the evolution of the modern culture as a logical step of the institutions adapting to the society. Therefore, the European organization must speed up the digitalization process in order to follow their own citizens, who are already implementing digital tools in their private lives. The European Union, as a supranational organization based on a balance of importance between the Member States (Council), the European citizens (European Parliament) and own process of integration (European Commission), requires a constant effort of adapting to the necessities of the most relevant actors involved in the process of constructing a united Europe.

In addition, E-Governance is a solution for the most relevant problems of a modern State, as the lack of funds, economic resources, or labour force. Any State need to generate enough money (incomes) to cover the expenditures of the services it provides to the citizens. The society, including private and economic agents share their wealth to fund the communality of public policies and services. Usually, this transfer of wealth from the private to the public is done via taxes where the members of the society contribute according to their incomes to the global budget. Nevertheless, if the income is not enough, there are traditionally different options as lending money via public debt, reducing the quality and the extension of the services decreasing the cost, or increasing taxes to cover the expenditures. Currently, the digital tools provide with a new option cutting the cost without affecting the quality of the service, including less taxes. The digital services provided by governments can also be more effective in the use of resources available and work force. To become more competitive, means fewer resources are required and less workers involved in the services. The issue of funds in the case of the European Union goes beyond the capacity to afford quality public service because those against the European Union and the integration process usually complain about the national money waist in the European level. This is a common critic with not much ground to support it, but popular among those willing to stop the integration process. Therefore, an effective use of the available economic resources, increasing the quality of the public services provided by the European Union and reducing the expenditures, would fundamentally reduce nationalist criticism of the EU.

The European Union needs to make an effort to identify the fields where a digital approach will increase the satisfaction of the European citizens. The mapping is a crucial task already undergoing under the promotion of the European Commission, whose priorities are:

  • - eGovernment for public administrations: Cross-border digital public services.
  • - eGovernment in the Digital Single Market: Information on the EU's electronic exchange of social security information (EESSI), EU rules on social security coordination, public directory of social security institutions.
  • - Electronic payments and invoicing: The EU's e-Invoicing directive, European initiatives on e-Invoicing, how to check for compatibility with EU rules, exchange of information on e-Invoicing.
  • - Electronic customs: How the EU plans to replace paper-based customs procedures with electronic ones, EU legislation and initiatives related to electronic customs, strategic plan for electronic customs in the EU.

Obviously, the EU Commission targets are restricted to the areas where the national sovereignty is shared among the Member States of the European Union and the coordination of national policies where the digital convergence could smoothly bring relevant benefits to the European society. Therefore, the priorities in terms of e-governance in the Union are focus on the Digital Single Market and areas associated to it, as payments and customs. Since the beginning of the European integration process, the implementation of a Common Market, with common customs and common trade policy, has been one of the most successful European initiative. In addition, the economic integration has foster further integration in others fields, as the current society model based on capitalism allows an imbrication of economics with almost all the areas of the society. Nevertheless, the irruption of the digital economy generated a dysfunctionality between the European economy, highly integrated, and the digital economy, still nationally divided. Therefore, the EU priorities on e-governance focus on adapting the digital economy to the European Union common economic frame