The Scholar in residence conference from September 23 to 25 2021, assessed the intersection and interplay between the processes of European integration and German unification in the decade from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. It sought to improve our understanding of how the two processes dynamized, accelerated, and informed each other and to identify where interpretations of causality might need to be reassessed. It also examined the logic specific to each of these two processes, and the ways in which path dependencies and other factors isolated them from one another. Concretely, the conference built on case studies and highlighted a set of issues that were particularly pertinent. Monetary integration is an obvious case in point, given the key economic and symbolic role of the Deutschmark for German unification, but also in light of parallel debates on creating a common European currency.

Prior to the conference, our speakers presented their research topics to you in the video blog below.

Kiran Patel on „The Interplay between European Integration and German Unification“.

Kiran Klaus Patel holds the chair of European history at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich) where he also serves as the founding director of Project House Europe, LMU’s center for interdisciplinary research on the history of contemporary Europe. His most important publications include Project Europe: A History (Cambridge UP, 2020) and The New Deal: A Global History (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2016).
Keith Allen on „State Aid to Eastern German Shipbuilding and Steel: European Dimensions“.

Keith R. Allen is a research scholar at the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) in Berlin. His work focuses on the social and economic history of German-German relations. His most important publications include “Directing Foreign Investments to Eastern Germany: Swiss Engagements after (and before) 1989”, in: Central European History 53 (2020) and Interrogation Nation: Refugees and Spies in Cold War Germany (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017).
Elena Dragomir on „Romania’s Position on the ‘German Question’ and the Deepening of Western Integration“.

Elena Dragomir is a researcher at the Study Center for the History of International Relations at the Valahia University of Târgovişte. Her research focuses on Romanian history during the Cold War and Romania’s relations with the EEC. Her most important publications include Cold War Perceptions: Romania’s Policy Change towards the Soviet Union, 1960–1964 (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015) and “Breaking the CMEA hold: Romania in Search of a ‘Strategy’ towards the European Economic Community, 1958–1974”, in: European Review of History 27 (2019).
Philipp Ther on „Cotransformation since 1990: A German Path and Perspective, with European Ramifications“.

Philipp Ther is a professor of Central European History at the University of Vienna, where he also serves as the founding director of the Research Center for the History of Transformations. His most important publications include The Outsiders: Refugees in Europe since 1492 (Princeton UP, 2019) and Europe since 1989: A History (Princeton UP, 2016).
Gabriele Clemens on „A Crucial Step towards Europeanization? The Creation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in the 1990s“.

Gabriele Clemens held the Jean Monnet Chair for European integration history and European studies at the University of Hamburg until 2019 and is now a professor emerita. Her most important publications include Europäisierung von Außenpolitik? Die Europäische Politische Zusammenarbeit (EPZ) in den 1970er Jahren (with Alexander Reinfeldt, Telse Rüter; Nomos, 2019) and Geschichte der europäischen Integration. Ein Lehrbuch (UTB, 2008).
Mathias Häußler on „Worlds together, worlds apart? The German question and the British inability to give a European answer“.

Mathias Häußler is an assistant professor at the University of Regensburg. His research focuses on the Cold War, the history of European integration and German-British relations. His most important publications include Inventing Elvis: An American Icon in a Cold War World (Bloomsbury,2021) and Helmut Schmidt and British-German Relations: A European Misunderstanding (Cambridge UP, 2019).
Victor Jaeschke on “Un phénomène globalement positif”.

The European Commission, German unification and the Future of Europe 1989-1992 Victor Jaeschke is a researcher (PhD candidate) at the University of Potsdam. His research focuses on German history and the history of European integration. His most important publications include “Die FDP, Europa und das Ende des Ost-West-Konflikts 1987-1992”, in: Eckart Conze et al. (eds.), Jahrbuch zur Liberalismus-Forschung (Nomos, forthcoming).
Ferenc Laczó on „The Long Revolution and Hungary’s “Return to (Central) Europe”: Ideas on and Policies towards Ending the Cold War, German Unification and European Integration in Hungary from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s“.

Ferenc Laczó is assistant professor of history at Maastricht University. His research focuses on Jewish history and the modern history of East-Central Europe. His most important publications include The Legacy of Division. East and West after 1989 (with Luka Lisjak Gabrijelcic; Eurozine-CEU Press, 2020) and Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide: An Intellectual History, 1929–1948 (Brill, 2016).

The conference was held in association with Kiran Klaus Patel’s term as scholar-in-residence of the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung and the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg, with generous support from both institutions and funded by the City of Hamburg. It explored issues that are central to Helmut Schmidt’s political legacy and to the work of the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg, such as monetary policy, international relations, European integration and German unification.