History of European Integration, 1945 – 1992

The course offers an introduction to the origin and historical development of the European integration in the hotly debated period between the end of the Second World War and the signing of the Maastricht Treaty.

Course Description

Course aims

It outlines the main events and stages in the development of the integration as a sophisticated and uneven process of transfer of national sovereign rights to supranational institutions; evaluates the influence of various state and non-state actors; and describes the most important political, institutional and economic achievements of integration together with its more significant failures. The role of key individuals will also be assessed. In particular, the course examines why and how the Communities were born, how they grew in scope and in size and why and how the European Communities became the European Union.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course students will be able to

  • understand a range of concepts linked to discussions on the history of European integration and the different ways in which historians conceptualize and explain the process of European integration.
  • develop a profound knowledge of the choice for cooperation and the forms that cooperation took.
  • critically reflect on the the most important developments in the history of European integration since the Second World War and appreciate the challenges it faced.
  • evaluate the role some prominent individuals played in that complex historical phenomenon.
  • apply their knowledge in discussions of central topics in the history of European integration.
  • organise and use relatively large amounts of information.


Unit One. Historiography of the European Integration.
Unit Two. The Origins of the European Communities.
Unit Three. The Early Years of the Common Market.
Unit Four. The EC’s Darkest Hour?
Unit Five. From Communities to Union.

Course Preview

Course Author:
Dr Boris Stoyanov, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria