The course aims at providing the students with knowledge, understanding and historical interpretation of the process of European integration. The evolution of the institutional framework of the EC/EU and their policies will be critically analyzed through their different historical phases. The course takes into consideration the origins of European integration in the 1940s and 50s; the early problems faced by the EEC in the 1960s and the internal tensions of those years; the gradual progress of European politics through the years of international détente and the revival of European integration from the mid-1980s. The last part of the course analyses the development of the European Union from the Treaty of Maastricht to the Treaty of Lisbon, together with some fundamental topics related to the enlargement of the EU to the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Finally, the course gives a general understanding of the institutional architecture of the EU today.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The origins and development of the European integration process, 1945-1957.
Federalism and Europeanism at the end of World War II; The German question in Europe and its impact on transatlantic relations; The rise of the Cold War in Europe; The Marshall Plan and the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC); Franco-German relations and the coal issue; The Schuman Plan and the European Coal and Steel Community (CECA); The problem of German rearmament and the European Defense Community; From the European Defense Community to the Treaties of Rome.

The early steps of the European Communities, 1958-69.
Objectives and structure of the European Economic Community (EEC); The Single Market; Euratom; The Gaullist challenge and the stalemate of the Community, 1961-67; Europe and détente; The Hague summit, 1969.

The developments of the EEC during the 1970s.
The first enlargement and the problems related to British membership; The project and the limits of a European monetary policy: from the Werner Plan to the creation of the EMS; European Political Cooperation; The reform of the European Parliament.

The EEC and the new European leaders: Margareth Thatcher, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Helmut Schmidt.

From the Single European Act to the Maastricht Treaty.
The debate about the reform of the EEC in the early 1980s; Institutional reforms and the completion of the Single Market; the difficult relaunch of the EEC and international Cold War tensions; The European Commission led by Jacques Delors; The Single European Act; The second enlargement to Greece, Spain and Portugal; Franco-German cooperation in European politics (François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl); The events of 1989, the end of the Cold War in Europe and German reunification; The Treaty of Maastricht and the creation of the European Union.

The big challenge - Europe in the 1990s.
The "pillar" structure of the European Union and the road to the Euro; Common Foreign and Security Policy and its shortcomings; The conflict in the Western Balkans and European political balance; The Treaty of Amsterdam; The negotiations for the enlargement to the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the problem of reforming the EU; The Prodi Commission.

The EU at the beginning of the 21st century.
A compromise found with the Treaty of Nice; The Iraqi crisis and its consequences on European politics; Difficult relations between the Commission and the Member States; The project of the Constitutional Treaty and the European Convention on the Future of Europe; The Treaty of Lisbon.

The institutional architecture of the EU today and the main conceptual and theorical approaches to European integration.
The European Commission; The Council of Ministers; The European Council; The European Parliament; Federalism, Functionalism, Unionism; Intergovernmental cooperation and supranational integration within the EU.

Core Documentation

Required readings for the exam (both for students attending the course and for those who do not attend the course), (8 CFU).

Di Nolfo E., Storia delle relazioni internazionali, 1919-1999 (Roma: Laterza, 2000), pp. 595-902;

Calandri E., Guasconi M.E., Ranieri R., Storia politica e economica dell’integrazione europea. Dal 1945 ad oggi (Napoli, Edises, 2015).

Reference Bibliography

- Guasconi M.E., L' Europa tra continuità e cambiamento. Il vertice dell'Aja del 1969 e il rilancio della costruzione europea, Firenze Polistampa, 2006 - Varsori A., La Cenerentola d'Europa. L'Italia e l'integrazione europea dal 1946 ad oggi, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino, 2010 - Di Nolfo E., Storia delle relazioni internazionali, 1919-1999 (Roma: Laterza, 2000), pp. 595-902

Type of delivery of the course

Teaching methodology. The course is mainly based on lectures. Students attending the course, however, are required to take active part in class debates on single course topics which are organized every week. They can be assigned short extra readings (articles, archival records, press sources, etc.) to be commented in class, individually or working in group with other students.


Attendance is not mandatory, yet it is recommended. The course methodology, in fact, includes class discussion and the students' team-work and active participation.

Type of evaluation

The course programme for 8 CFU is made for students enrolled according to the DM 270/2004. The exam cannot be split into different parts; students are required to take the exam on the entire course programme at one time. During the period of the COVID-19 emergency exams will take place according to the provisions of the Rector's Decree n. 703 of May 5, 2020, art. 1.