Why the European Union?

Why the European Union?


Have you ever asked yourself why the European Union? Why does the European Union exist? Where does it come from? Why a European but not an American or Asian Union? If you have asked yourself why the Europeans co-operate the strange way they do but found no adequate answer, this is a Massive Online Open Course designed just for you. and for all those having difficulties when dealing with the European Union. I’ve now been president for a five and a half years and I’ve learnt a thing or two about the European Union, the European Comission, the European Council… sometimes I get them mixed up, but… Welcome to the club. I do recognize the difficulties Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron encounter: the institutions, policies purposes and policy limitations of the European Union have no parallel and can only be explained and properly understood from a historical perspective. This is what this course aims to do for you. During six weeks we will analyse where the European Union comes from and what the European Union does. We will argue that European integration is contingent to specific historical circumstances; that European integration has served the purpose of enhancing some common or shared values; that integration has been a safe way to regulate globalisation from Europe according to the European perceived interests; and finally, that the history of Germany and the history of European integration run in parallel as the two sides of the same coin. In fact in order to analyze the role to be played by Germany in any European future you need to properly understand how could Germany go from here to here in just 70 years. This is Fernando Guirao, Jean Monnet Professor of History at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. I hope to lead you in this fascinating trip. I am sure, you will enjoy the ride! Thank you for your attention, and cheers!

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