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The History of the European Union



Jean Monnet Module: The History of the European Union. Five years after the Second World War ended, the two arch enemies France and Germany created the world’s first supranational international organization by setting up the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). This proved to be the first step in a process that led to a European Union that now consists of an internal market and monetary union. In recent decades, the European Union has steadily increased its competences to other policy areas like migration, crime fighting, social policy, and foreign and defense policy. It has also expanded from 6 to 27 members – a number that is expected to increase in the future.
This course analyses the origins and the development of the European Union. The central question of this course is: what were the challenges faced by the current members of the European Union that explain the choice for supranationalism? The course also seeks to explain why the “process” of European integration sometimes seems to stagnate and why reforms in policy areas like agriculture and the budget are so difficult to achieve.

Course objectives

To provide students with an understanding of the choice for supranationalism and the most important developments in the history of European integration. Students are expected to develop a firm grasp of the timing and nature of these developments, the most important reform areas, and the interests of the member states.


Semester 1, see here

Method of instruction

Lectures and two workgroup meetings.

Assessment method

Written mid-term and final exam..


The online syllabus and PowerPoint presentations of the lectures can be found on blackboard.

Reading list

Subject to change

  • D. Dinan, Europe Recast: A History of European Union, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2004. ISBN 0333987349


via uSis.

Contact information

Prof.dr. R.T. Griffiths