European Integration: A Historical Overview

  • Kai PurnhagenEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Advances in Bioeconomy: Economics and Policies book series (PABEP)


In his speech in Zurich in September 1946, Winston Churchill called for a United States of Europe coalition modelled on the United States of America. The past had taught that international peace treaties were no effective means to keep peace in Europe on a sustainable basis. This chapter outlines the historical steps of the European integration process from the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community to Brexit. This includes the different steps of building the European Union (EU) following the sequence of treaties and enlargements and related reforms. It critically assesses this development and, based on this assessment, illustrates what could like be the future of the EU integration process.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Law and Governance GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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