History of the European Commission, 1986-2000

An ambitious research project on the history of the European Commission, led by Professor Vincent Dujardin, is gradually coming to an end. UCL is the only Belgian university involved.

Led by Professor Vincent Dujardin with the help of two assistants at UCL and one at the University of Florence, ‘History and memory of the European Commission. 1986-2000’ is an important European project which brings together 43 researchers from universities and research centres.

Together, they conducted some 250 interviews with key players in the European project: former Commission presidents and European Commissioners, senior officials, former prime ministers, presidents of the European Parliament or finance ministers, including Philippe Maystadt, who recently passed away. All these interviews make it possible to consider the role of the European Commission from an objective point of view.

Beyond interviews, which helped broaden the range of sources and get closer to the actors’ psychology, the project’s approach also fills gaps left by archives by allowing privileged access to these data. The period 1986-2000 covers key moments in the history of the European Commission, such as the Single European Act, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the establishment of the euro area, the enlargement of the European Union, and dramatic events such as the war in the former Yugoslavia.

The project includes, among others, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the European University Institute in Florence and the University of Padua, and has received European funding since 2014. A book, published in French, English and German, should appear during the next academic year.

Eric Bussière, Paris-Sorbonne University, Vincent Dujardin, Director of the European Commission's History Project, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Commission and Piers Ludlow, London School of Economics.

Photo slideshow : Benjamin Zwarts

Published on January 25, 2018