RED-SPINEL is a 36-month long, 3.2 million euro, interdisciplinary, international and intersectoral Horizon Europe project coordinated by Ramona Coman (IEE, CEVIPOL, ULB), selected for funding by the European Commission in March 2022.



RED-SPINEL stands for 'Respond to Emerging Dissensus: SuPranational Instruments and Norms of European democracy'. It involves seven higher education institutions: Université libre de Bruxelles, Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, HEC Paris, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu and the University of Warwick. They are joined in the consortium by four non-academic partners: Peace Action, Training and Research Institute in Romania, Milieu Consulting, Magyar Helsinki Bizottság / Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Stichting Nederlands Instituut voor Internationale Betrekkingen Clingendael across eight European countries.
The project seeks to shed light on how European liberal democracy is being contested and what this means for its prospects in the 21st century. The questions at the core of the project are:
1. What is the nature of the current dissensus and how disruptive is it to the EU?
2. How have EU institutional actors and instruments contributed and responded to this increased
3. What are the implications of this dissensus for policy instruments at EU and Member State levels?
These questions which will also be explored empirically in relation to:
(1) the EU’s internal democracy and the rule of law instruments, notably the EU’s Rule of Law Toolbox;
(2) the EU’s external promotion of democracy and the rule of law within its’ neighbourhoods, notably the enlargement agenda and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP);
(3) legal mechanisms and technocratic instruments mobilised with an eye on fostering citizen participation, defending fundamental rights and promoting climate justice;
(4) instruments relating to EU economic governance, notably the European Semester and socio-economic governance.
The project involves several ULB academics/affiliated members of the Institut d’études européennes including Ramona Coman (Principal investigator), Akif Cem Ozkardes, Nathalie Brack, Chloé Brière, François Foret, Chiara Armeni, Amandine Crespy, Frederik Ponjaert, Luca Tomini, Louise Fromont and Seda Gurkan.
Representatives of all partner universities and non-academic institutions gathered at the Institut d’études européennes on October 20 and 2 for the formal launch of their 3-year scientific endeavour.