The founding treaty of the European Union (“Treaty of Rome”) was signed 60 years ago and became effective on 1 January 1958. From its beginnings as a customs union among 6 member countries, the original European Economic Community has transformed itself into “a unique Union with common institutions and strong values, a community of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, a major economic power with unparalleled levels of social protection and welfare” (Rome Declaration, 25 March 2017). Yet, today’s EU of 28 faces unprecedented internal and external challenges, ranging from Brexit and the lingering Eurozone crisis to the “democratic deficit” of supranational EU institutions as well as growing nationalism and migratory pressures.
We’ll trace the process of European integration since the 1950s by exploring its historical origins as well as major theories of economic integration. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the European integration process and its current challenges, especially the issues and implications of Brexit.