Studio Europa Maastricht collects the testimonies of people who have been involved in the development of the EU since 1970.
‘EU builders aan het woord’ is an interview project by Studio Europa Maastricht and Maastricht University. Led by Mathieu Segers and Bart Stol, historians and journalists collect testimonies from people who have been involved in the becoming of the European Union and Economic and Monetary Union since 1970. The project aims to capture as many perspectives as possible. Besides the stories of politicians, diplomats and civil servants, the testimonies of opinion makers and lobbyists, among others, are also covered.
The interviews will be offered via an open access website. On 7 December 2022, Mathieu Segers and Bart Stol presented this website with the first ten interviews. The first selection of interviews includes interviews with Joachim Bitterlich, former advisor to Helmut Kohl; Mark Eyskens, former foreign minister of Belgium; Onno Ruding, former minister of finance; Cees Maas, former treasurer-general; Jan Timmer, former CEO of Philips and Nel van Dijk, former MEP for CPN and GroenLinks.
‘EU builders’ is a long-term project, aimed at collecting and unlocking as many testimonies as possible for further research by academics, journalists, students (university and college) and final-year students. The website will be continuously updated with new interviews from 7 December on.
The project was set up partly within the framework of the European Heritage Label, which the Province of Limburg acquired for the Maastricht Treaty in 2018 with the support of Maastricht University. The expertise centre Studio Europa Maastricht, on behalf of the university and the province, is shaping the research into the backgrounds and creation of the treaty (read: the EU and the euro) and its significance for contemporary Europe.
On 7 December 2023, the website was presented at Sociëteit De Witte in The Hague by Mathieu Segers and Bart Stol. In attendance were many participants and contributors to the oral history project, including Bernard Bot, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlo Trojan, former advisor to the European Commission and Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, former party leader of Dutch political party D66. These three were also interviewed for EU builders. The interviews will also appear on the website soon.