Sven Leif Ragnar de Roode analyzes Dutch, English, and German perceptions of European integration against the backdrop of dominant elements of national self-images in a comparative perspective. The study is based on a source sample of more than 1200 newspaper editorials about the founding treaties of the European Communities in the 1950s and the Treaty on European Union from 1992/3. The source analysis is framed by an analysis of dominant, publicly acknowledged national self-images in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century. The representation of European integration in Dutch, English, and German newspapers shows that both, the perception of Europe and national self-images, were essentially contested. It demonstrates how nationalised the gaze unto Europe was. The perception of Europe was tinted and judged by national self-images. The discourse on European integration was inseparably intertwined with the discourse on the nation. Europe was essentially thought ‘through’ the nation.
Wim van Meurs, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 127, 2014/1