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The History of European Integration


Admission requirements

At least BSA (40 ects).


Five years after the Second World War ended, the two arch-enemies France and Germany, together with four of their neighbours, created the world’s first supranational international organisation 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 such as migration, crime fighting, social policy, and foreign and defense policy. It has also expanded from 6 to 28 members – a number that is expected to increase in the future.

This course analyses the origins and development of European cooperation, a process that started to take shape from the end of WWI. The course approaches European cooperation from a global perspective. The central question is: what were the challenges faced by European countries that explain the choice for cooperation? We will also address questions such as: why the “process” of European integration sometimes seems to stagnate and why reform in policy areas such as agriculture and the budget is so difficult to achieve.

Course objectives

General learning objectives

The student can:
1. organise and use relatively large amounts of information
2. reflect critically on knowledge and understanding as presented in academic literature

Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation

  1. The student has knowledge of a specialisation, more specifically;
    • in the specialisation Economic History the worldwide interaction of trading networks in the early modern period, the nineteenth century industrialisation of the Netherlands in a worldwide perspective, or the political economy of a globalising economy in the twentieth century;
    • in the track Social History the differences of class, gender, ethnicity and religion; the transfer of people, goods and ideas; connections between people (individually and collectively), companies, states and (international) organisations (including churches) from 1600. Insights from this are used to explain current events and developments.

Learning objectives, pertaining to this specific lecture course

The student:

  1. Develops an understanding of the choice for cooperation, the forms that cooperation took 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.


The timetable is available on the History website.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours= 140 hours

  • Lectures: 2×12 = 24 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 36 hours

  • Preparation exam 1: 28 hours

  • Preparation exam II: 48 hours

  • Exam(s): 4 hours

Assessment method

The course and all its learning objectives will be assessed through two subtests:

  • Midterm examination: Written exam

  • Final examination: Written exam


Midterm examination: 40 %
Final examination: 60 %

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


  • The resit exam will take place on one single resit, at which both subtests are offered. For this resit three hours will be reserved, so that students will be able to retake both subtests, if necessary.


Blackboard will be used for: - syllabus;

  • PowerPoint presentations;

  • part of the readings.

Reading list

  • Desmond Dinan, Europe Recast: A History of European Union (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004 or the revised edition of 2014).

  • Articles, available through the University Library catalogue or Blackboard (see syllabus).


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Information for those who are interested in Studeren à la carte (without examination) – in Dutch.

Information for those who are interested in Contractonderwijs (with examination) – in Dutch.


Mw. Mr. dr. A-I. (Anne-Isabelle) Richard