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The History of European Integration


Admission requirements



Five years after the Second World War ended, the two arch enemies France and Germany 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 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, a process that started to take shape from the end of WWI. The central question of this course is: what were the challenges faced by the members of what became the European Union that explain the choice for cooperation? 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 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.


See website Minor EUS.
See also the timetable of Minor Dutch Studies.

Mode of instruction


Course load

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours.

  • course participation (12 × 2 hours = 24 hours);

  • time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures (12 × 3 hours = 36 hours);

  • preparation for the first test (28 hours);

  • preparation for the second test (48 hours).

  • exam: 4 (hours)

Assessment method

The final mark will be a combination of the following notes obtained during the classes, weighted in the following way:

  • midterm exam (40%);

  • final exam (60%).

There will be a retake exam in January. In order to be eligible for the retake exam, students have to have participated in both tests and failed the course as a whole.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

  • Desmond Dinan, Europe Recast: A History of European Union (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004);

  • Reader. Readers can be ordered through the orderwebsite of Leiden University. See readeronline for further information.


Via uSis.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.




Mw. Dr. C. (Claske) Vos