European Society & History
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty led to the creation of the European Union. Its official motto is “Unity in Diversity”. But amid so many countries, languages, religions and ethnicities, what is European identity? This question is at the heart of European politics and popular culture, and hinges on very difficult questions about European history and conflict. The European Society & History programme is for students who want to study important societal issues of our time from a European perspective.
Founded by the Romans, controlled by the Spaniards, besieged by the French, and occupied by the Germans, 2000 year-old Maastricht allows you to understand how European history has served as a prologue to the present. The Netherlands, despite its roots of religious freedom and societal tolerance, has populist politicians taking a stand against the “Islamisation of the Netherlands”. This development is not unique. Roma people have been deported from France and terrorist attacks have been carried out by nationalist or separatist groups in various countries. Switzerland is not part of the EU, but still regarded as ‘European’, while the UK is part of the European Union, but has not adopted the Euro as its currency. At the same time, European countries are faced with global challenges such as climate change, an influx of refugees and a worldwide economic crisis, which can only be successfully addressed within the framework of the European Union. The European Society & History programme invites you to explore European integration in an age of globalisation.