As one European Union Member State is about to leave the Union for the first time ever, and as the Union seems always keener on extending its borders to the Western Balkans, the question of flexibility within the Union, i.e. the differentiated application of EU norms, appears to be more important than ever. Against this background, this article examines how flexibility has evolved over time in the European context, and it shows that, in fact, flexibility has always been a part of it, even if its importance expanded progressively. This notwithstanding, a closer examination of today’s situation reveals that flexibility appears to be more limited than it could seem at first sight. Yet, it is increasingly becoming a permanent feature, and Brexit could still have an impact on this issue.
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- Flexibility, European Union, Differentiated integration, Enhanced cooperation, Brexit