HOMER - From History to Memory Culture: Narratives of the European Council Summits

Period of the Project:
October 2014 - September 2017

Funding:
European Commission; Jean Monnet Center of Excellence

Seminars

Project

Project

HOMER is a six step research-based teaching program that seeks to identify narratives, focusing on three history making summits of national leaders in the history of European integration.

HOMER’s key points:

  • HOMER is of high political and societal relevance since it provides historical and cultural orientation on European memory by identifying master narratives of European integration.
  • HOMER will have a strong academic impact since it will generate new insights into the perceptions of the role of the European Council and its summits that have received limited scholarly attention thus far.
  • HOMER has a strong transnational impact since it brings together the German Sport University Cologne (GSU), the University of Cologne, and the University of Maastricht.
  • HOMER is fully interdisciplinary by bringing together four leading EU experts representing history and political science. 

HOMER’s background:

  • The future of the European Union will increasingly be shaped by the perception of its history and an evolving European memory culture. Against this backdrop, it is necessary to pay more attention to the European Council which has been the key institution in terms of history making decisions.
  • The project will address three critical junctures in order to analyse their impact on the development of European narratives: The almost forgotten 1969 summit of The Hague was central to the emergence of the EU and the European Council as an entity. The Maastricht summit of 1991 was a history-making act for the deepening of European integration.The 2007 summit of Lisbon that led to the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon opened a new age for the construction of the EU.The project will assess these summits and analyse their roles in developing a ‘master narrative’ of European integration. The main rationale of the project is to contribute to the evolving European memory culture by scrutinizing past and existing interpretations while simultaneously building on these. 

The general structure of HOMER is based on an annual six step-approach:

  1. a yearly workshop in Brussels (research, dialogue and event dimension)
  2. a yearly joint seminar (teaching dimension)
  3. a yearly online module (international dissemination) linked with the respective workshop and seminar
  4. a series of four annual public lectures (two at each university; local/regional dissemination)
  5. four annual issues of a newsletter and a regularly updated homepage
  6. a final journal article at the end of the third year.

Each year one of the three summits will be tackled by HOMER:

  • first year: the summit of The Hague 1969
  • second year: the European Council taking place in Maastricht 1991
  • third year: the Lisbon summit 2009 that opened a new age for the construction of the EU and generally for Europe.

The project will address these three critical junctures in order to analyse their impact on the development of European narratives. It will be of vital interest to explore the question of how contested interpretations of historical and recent events are made active in the present, thereby uniting and dividing European societies. 

Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Wilfried Loth    has been Professor of Modern History at the University of Essen from 1986 to 2014. Loth was President of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut) in Essen. Since 2013 he serves as President of the Franco-German Committee of Historians and Chairman of the “Groupe de liaison des professeurs d'histoire contemporaine auprès de la Commission européenne”.

Prof. Dr. Brigid Laffan   serves as Director and Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, and Director of the Global Governance Programme, European University Institute (EUI), Florence. Prior to this she was the founding director of the Dublin European Institute UCD in 1999 and in March 2004 she was elected as a member of the Royal Irish Academy. At the University College of Dublin she was Professor of European Politics until 2013.  

Baron Philippe de Schoutheete   was political director at the Belgian Foreign Ministry and Belgium's permanent representative to the European Union from 1987 to 1997. He was special adviser to Commissioner Michel Barnier, he has been Guest Professor at the University of Louvain and at the College of Europe Natolin (Poland). Currently he acts as Senior Fellow of the European Department of Egmont Institute (Royal Institute for International Relations).

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Marhold    is Director of Research and Development of the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) and teaches at the University of Cologne. He is member of the executive board of the Institute of European Politics (IEP) in Berlin and of the board of the European Movement Germany. His main research fields are institutional and constitutional developments of the European Union, federalism and history of the European integration. He is involved in many European scientific and political non-governmental associations. 

Public Talks and Lectures

Public Talks and Lectures

German Sport University, Cologne, Jean Monnet Lectures 2015 / 2016

27.01.2015 Nodar Akhalkatsi (Heidelberg/Georgia): Changing Sportsystems in Georgia, the Caucasian Region and the former Soviet States

20.01.2015 Maren Kröger (UN-HCR): The United Nations‘ Perspective on Sport for Development and Peace

13.01.2015 David Lanzerath (Bonn): Die Massen, die uns heute noch fern stehen, für unsere Bewegung begeistern – Cultural Practices of the Labour Gymnastics Movement as a Resource for Mobilisation

05.02.2015„ International Conference Playing to build Europe“ The Formation of a European Football Spere (5th & 6th February) Université de Lausanne 

09.06. 2015, 12 a.m. - 2 p.m., Lecture Hall II Guest lecture: Mario Woldt (Hannover): The European and international activities of the German Rowing Federation

16.06.2015, 12 a.m. - 2 p.m., Lecture Hall II Guest lecture: Prof. Dr. Harm Kaal (Nijmegen): Popular politics: the friendly match between sport and politics in the Netherlands, 1960 1980s

06.07.2015, 10 a.m., Lecture Hall I Martin Schulz (President of European Parliament): Perspectives and Narratives of the European Union 

26.01.2016, 12.00 - 13.30pm, Lecture Hall 5, HJZ, Guest lecture: Dr. Stefan Scholl (Siegen): Das Wissen der europäischen Sportvernetzung (1962-1991): Die sportpolitische Aktivität des Europarats in historischer Perspektive.

 

 University of Cologne, Jean Monnet Lectures 2014 2016

Lecture by Wolfang Wessels: The Political System of the EU: Strategic and Conceptual Approaches - „The European Council“

15.10.2014 Günter Verheugen: 10 years Eastern Enlargement from the perspective of the „Enlargement Commissioner“

27.10.2014 THESEUS Visiting Professor Céline Belot The emergence of the EU as a political issue: cause for despair or source of hope for European integration? 

Lecture by Wolfgang Wessels: Theories and Strategies of European Integration

09.05. 2015 Conference: Freihandel zwischen der EU und Lateinamerika. Chancen. Risiken. Alternativen (‚Free Trade between the EU and Latin America. Opportunities. Pitfalls. Alternatives.‘)

12.05. 2015 THESEUS visiting professor Emiliano Grossmann (Sciences Po Paris): Tensions between the evolution of capitalism and the future of democracy

03.06.2015 Prof. Dr. Hartmut Marhold, Director of Research and Development of the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) and member of the HOMER advisory board. 

26.01.2016 Prof. Dr. Dr. hc Wilfried Loth, University of Dusiburg-Essen: Die Entstehung des Europäischen Rates, 17.45pm, Forschungsinstitut für Politische Wissenschaft, Gottfried Keller Str. 6, Köln

University of Maastricht, Jean Monnet Lectures

Sophie Vanhoonacker Jean Monnet Professor of Administrative Governance Kiran Klaus Patel, Professor of European and Global History

23.09.2014 Dr Julie Smith (University Camebridge): Britain‘s European Future After the Scottish Referendum

20.11.2014 Pierpaolo Settembri: Policy Officer and G20 Sherpa Assistant in the European Commission 

Sophie Vanhoonacker, Jean Monnet Professor of Administrative Governance Kiran Klaus Patel, Professor of European and Global History

17.04.2015 Commissioner Cecilia Malstrom, EU Trade Policy: Why should European citizens care?

21.05.2015 Julian Priestly, former Secretary General of the European Parliament: The Making of a European President‘ 

Joint Seminars

Joint Seminars

HOMER consists of three joint seminars taking place in Cologne or Maastricht (April 8th and May 21st) and an additional workshops in Brussels with experts (April 17th)

 The Hague Summit and European Narratives

Today, the European Council forms the key body in the institutional architecture of the EU. Given its importance, it might come as a surprise that the original Treaties of Rome did not foresee such an institution, and that it only acquired its role incrementally, in the course of several decades. The almost forgotten summit of The Hague in 1969 was of high significance for paving the way for the emergence of the European Council and of the institutional structure that characterizes today’s European Union.

The seminar will address the Hague summit as a critical juncture in the history of European integration. Beyond a focus on actors, motives, negotiations and outcomes of the summit, it will assess the way the Hague summit was perceived at the time, and how it is remembered today. What were and are the views of politicians? How do scholars write about it? How did the media report about it at the time, and do journalists sometimes refer to it today? On all these issues, are there differences between member states, political camps, and generations? Or do interpretations tend to converge? And, more generally, what is the place of the Hague summit in the wider history of EU summitry, and what is the role of summits in narratives of European integration?

This is an interdisciplinary, research-oriented seminar open to students from the German Sport University Cologne, Maastricht University, and the University of Cologne. Students will work with a broad variety of sources (newspaper articles, archival material, memoirs, academic interpretations, interviews, etc.) and will contrast perceptions and narratives of the summit of the time with today’s discussion. The introductory and final sessions will take place in Cologne, but the seminar will include a one-day workshop in Brussels.

The HOMER Project in brief 

HOMER is a research-based teaching program that seeks to identify narratives, focusing on history making summits of national leaders in the history of European integration.  

HOMER’s background

  • The future of the European Union will increasingly be shaped by the perception of its history and an evolving European memory culture. Against this backdrop, it is necessary to pay more attention to the European Council which has been the key institution in terms of history making decisions.
  • The project will address three critical junctures in order to analyse their impact on the development of European narratives: The almost forgotten 1969 summit of The Hague was central to the emergence of the EU and the European Council as an entity. The Maastricht summit of 1991 was a history-making act for the deepening of European integration. The 2009 summit of Lisbon opened a new age for the construction of the EU. The project assesses these summits and analyses their roles in developing a ‘master narrative’ of European integration. The main rationale of the project is to contribute to the evolving European memory culture by scrutinizing past and existing interpretations while simultaneously building on these.

  HOMER’s organisation:

§  is carried out jointly by the German Sport University Cologne (GSU), the University of Cologne, and the University of Maastricht

§  is supported by the European Commission

§  focuses on the European Council and its summits 

§  will be held in English

§  will be credited with a Certificate on European Studies of all three Universities 

§  consists of a joint seminar taking place two days in 2015 in Maastricht (X /Y ) and an additional workshop in Brussels with experts (Z)

§  assessment will be based on identifying, collecting and analyzing material for an online-presentation

§  will not cause any additional fees  

HOMER’s key targets:

  • HOMER is of high political and societal relevance since it provides historical and cultural orientation on European memory by identifying master narratives of European integration.
  • HOMER has a strong academic impact since it generates new insights into the perceptions of the role of the European Council and its summits that have received limited scholarly attention thus far.
  • HOMER has a strong transnational impact since it brings together the German Sport University Cologne (GSU), the University of Cologne, and the University of Maastricht.
  • HOMER is fully interdisciplinary by bringing together four EU experts representing history and political science.  
Dissemination

Dissemination

coming soon...

Impressions

Impressions