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New oral history interview with Herman Van Rompuy now available online

Posted on 19 March 2019

Herman Van Rompuy, Belgian politician and Former President of the European Council (2009-2014) visited the Historical Archives of the European Union on 10 December 2018 and was interviewed, in the framework of the Archives’ oral history initiative, by Dr Angela Romano, Senior Research Fellow of the Department of History and Civilisation at the European University Institute. The video recording of this interview is available here.

The interview is part of the oral history project “Leaders Beyond the State” and can be consulted by researchers interested in the history of European integration. It provides us with an insight into President Van Rompuy’s  family background, his studies and  career highlights, up to and including his position as President of the European Council.  President Van Rompuy was one of the most prominent actors of the European political scene during the early years of the new millennium, but also a privileged witness of the broader process of EU integration. During the interview he tackles a number of issues: from the fall of the Berlin wall to the passing of the Maastricht Treaty, from his appointment to the presidency of the European Council to the 2008 global financial crisis. He also provides an analysis of the Foreign relations of the European Union, with a focus on the Libyan Civil War, the Ukrainian crisis, and the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to the EU in 2012.

During his visit in Florence, Mr Van Rompuy participated in the series of events “Leaders Beyond the State”, where former Presidents of European institutions are invited to the European University Institute for a public interview to record their experiences as leaders in transnational government. The series of interviews is organized by the School of Transnational Governance at the EUI, in collaboration with the Department of History and Civilisation and the Historical Archives of the European Union.