Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

The Europeanisation of the Rhineland: the Netherlands and Germany in transnational perspective

The European Union has been shaped by its member states. 'Brussels' is a mirror of national political cultures. Also, the integration process has led to an adaptation of governance and politics of the member states to EU legislation. This research project focuses on the effects of the European membership, the European legislation and the European agreements on socio-economic and constitutional relations and on party-politics in the Netherlands and Germany.

The vertical and horizontal transformation processes will be studied in a transnational perspective, which means that in addition to the bilateral state relations, also the regional, multilateral and supranational relations are taken into account. From this perspective, the Rhineland could be considered as one borderless region. Of course, differences between the Netherlands and Germany will also be regarded.

This project is an initiative by the Amsterdam Institute for German Studies of the University of Amsterdam and the Montesquieu Institute in The Hague. Besides research activities international conferences will be held concerning the regulated free market economy (the Rhineland Model), the Dutch and German constitutions and the translation and transposition of political concepts within the EU. The project is led by Hanco Jürgens, MA, Research Coordinator at the Amsterdam Institute for German Studies.


Conference: Constitutional Perspectives on European Integration

In february 2011 the Montesquieu Institute Maastricht and the Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam hosted a conference on the constitutional consequences of European integration in Germany and the Netherlands. Learn more about this conference.


International series of conferences on Market & Morality

Learn more about the international series of conferences on Market & Morality in April and May 2009.



Montesquieu Paper 6
Drs. Hanco Jürgens, The Quest for a Vision for Europe: Lessons to be learned from Dutch and German debates on the Future Democracy of European Union

This paper compares the Dutch and German political debates on the future of the EU. In Germany, future prospects of the EU are well discussed by all political parties. Since the interests of the various stakeholders, particularly of the German Houses of Parliament, are well defined and defended, the public debate is less capricious than in the Netherlands.

Montesquieu Paper 5
Drs. Hanco Jürgens, Deviating paths, converging policies; Dutch and German Constitutions within an ever-changing European Union

This paper discusses the European integration process from the perspective of the Dutch and German constitutional cultures in a transnational perspective, taking each others and the wider European perspective into account.

Montesquieu Paper 4
Drs. Hanco Jürgens, Identity loss; identity regained? Recent transitions of the Dutch and German social welfare states in a European perspective

This paper analyzes how public images and self-images of the social welfare state are important for the political identity of states and explores how social debate about the crisis of the welfare state led to a feeling of identity loss and how this identity could be regained.