ITC 3590 - MAKING THE EUROPEAN UNION: A FUTURE-ORIENTED NARRATIVE
Course Type: LLecture Class & Research Seminar
Instruction Language: English
Examination Method: Written (assignments, exam, term research paper) & oral (in-class presentation and debates, public performance)
Contact Hours: 49 h
Independent Study: 38,5 h
Presentation/Aef Experience: 25 h
Total Work: 112,5 h
*150 AEF Academic Hours [ 1AEF Academic Hour = 45 minutes ]
Time: Monday 5.30 PM - 7.15 PM
Wednesday 5.30 PM - 7.15 PM
AEF building, via Cavour 37, Firenze
The European Union making process is an extraordinary experiment in recent history, unprecedented and still unique in its kind. This upper-level course offers a broad overview of the European integration project, provides a deep insight into its multifaceted history, and scrutinizes its future. After briefly reviewing a few pre-WW2 trends, the focus is on the post-war period: from the first treaties (Paris 1951, Rome 1957 Rome) to their first revision (Milan 1985-86) and the 1992 Maastricht shift (the European Union; the euro) to more recent steps (2007: Constitution, 2012-16: Banking Union, 2016-2020: Brexit, 2020: the call for a Health Union) and the ever postponed, but never abandoned dream of a Political Union. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of leading individuals. The course reconstructs the punctuated trajectory of European integration and documents its evolution over time, whilst also inviting reflections on current trends and future scenarios. It is divided into two parts. Part I reviews the integration process from the early 1950s to the present, piecing up a pertinent narrative and shedding light on the main turning points, achievements, and shortcomings. Part II pursues a critical inquiry into the fundamentals of the integration project in light of current challenges (economic recession, immigration, climate change, COVID-19) and future prospects, such as making the EU more inclusive, more sustainable, safer and more secure, more learned and creative and, therefore, continuously reshaping its identity. At 70 years since its inception (1951), the integration project has not been completed, not yet; the EU does not resemble a fully-fledged united Europe. Whilst the future of the European Union is deeply rooted in the past, its history may end tomorrow or last for many years to come. Not only there are no set limits for its duration in time, but it is also hard to predict how this project will be carried into the future and how it will look like. This class is a great opportunity to see how a history-making project works and, thus, a fascinating exercise in teaching/learning history with an eye towards the future.
I built up this upper level course with the purpose to help my students understand the complexity of the European integration project –a highly genuine historical process. The course takes a two-way approach: 1) a critical analysis of what was achieved and 2) a deeper reflection on current trends and on what should ideally be done in a long run. The primary aim of this course is to provide students with a thorough grounding in European integration history and valuable insights into specific course content. In addition, it seeks to equip them with fundamental conceptual tools to enable them address new issues, both within and beyond the EU frame. Moreover, it intends to foster their critical-creative thinking to ultimately achieve greater intellectual development.