Masterclass Paul Schnabel

The State of Europe, 60 Years after the Treaty of Rome

Date: 13-20 March 2017

Deadline for applications: 15 January 2017

On March 25th, 1957, the project of European unification was born on Rome’s Capitol Hill, when high representatives of six countries signed the Treaty of Rome “to establish the foundations of an ever closer union among the European peoples”. This year, that project turns sixty – but is there cause to celebrate? The EU has grown into an unprecedented political and economic structure of 28 member states, but despite this successful expansion a feeling of existential crisis prevails: Brexit is imminent, euroskepticism is on the rise, and the euro has laid bare deep fault lines between north and south.

In this master class we revisit the founding moment of European unification in Rome to discuss the achievements, problems and challenges of the EU project in past, present and future. Under the guidance of leading Dutch public intellectual, senator and KNIR-fellow prof. dr. Paul Schnabel, students in law, political science, history, sociology, economics and related disciplines will come together in Rome to research and debate the state of Europe at the dawn of its sixtieth birthday. Particular attention will be paid to the differences and similarities between the Netherlands and Italy, two founding member states that signed the Treaty of Rome. What can a comparison between these ‘northern’ and ‘southern’ countries tell us about shared European values and the future of the EU in a globalized world?

Signature of the Treaty of Rome

Course format

The master class is organised by and hosted at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR). The program entails lectures, on-site visits and discussions with experts.


KNIR-fellow prof. dr. Paul Schnabel (Utrecht University), in conjunction with dr. Arthur Weststeijn (KNIR) and guest lecturer prof. dr. Mathieu Segers (Maastricht University).


5 ECTS, assigned upon completion of the final essay.Assessment
On-site oral presentations, active contribution to plenary discussions, assignments and a final essay to be submitted after the stay in Rome.


The master class is open to a maximum of 10 selected students in law, political science, history, sociology, economics and related disciplines at (R)MA or PhD-level, as well as to early career researchers in the humanities, social sciences and beyond.


Tuition is free for selected participants. Dutch participants may be eligible for KNIR bursaries covering all expenses (see below). Other participants are required to cover their stay in the KNIR at their own expenses.


Selected participants from KNIR partner universities (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit Leiden, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) are eligible for KNIR bursaries, comprising all expenses related to the master class (tuition, lodging in Rome, conference fees, etc.). Personal expenses, including meals, are not included. Students receive a €100 reimbursement of their expenses for travelling to Rome after submission of their final essay.


Applications are welcome until 15 January 2017. Notice on acceptance will follow before 25 January 2017. This will include information on the selection for KNIR bursaries. Candidates can apply by filling out the application form via the link below, submitting a motivation letter, a recent C.V. and an updated overview of study results.

Facilities in Rome

All participants will be housed at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome’s Villa Borghese Park. From there, it is only a short walk to the historical centre of Rome. The KNIR accommodation consists of shared bedrooms and bathrooms, and includes a living and dining space, a large kitchen, washing machine and wireless internet. All residents have 24/7 access to the library and gardens of the Royal Netherlands Institute.

More info

Phone: (+39)063269621