School of Transnational Governance

Leaders Beyond The State

‘Leaders Beyond the State’ is an oral history project organised by the EUI School of Transnational Governance, the Department of History and Civilization and the Historical Archives of the European Union.

The Presidents and Prime Ministers of the European Union’s Member States are well-known to their electorates. As transnational leaders, the Presidents of the European institutions have historically had a rather more distant relationship to their constituents. Yet, they have nonetheless held a seat of power and guided a political community through successes, challenges and crises.

Over the coming months and years, former European Union Presidents will visit the EUI to record their rich experiences as leaders in transnational government. Each President will privately record reflections on their time in office as part of an oral history project on the history of European integration at the Historical Archives of the European Union. They will also deliver a public lecture and respond to questions.

The events are open to all, but please register.


Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament (2007-2009)

Date: 12 December 2017
 Watch video
 Read more 


 Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank (2003-2011)

Date: 16 February 2017
 Watch video


 José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission (2004-2014)

Date: 20 April 2018
 Watch video
 Read more 


 Josep Borrell, President of the European Parliament (2004-2007)

Date: 31 May 2018
 Watch video
 Read more 


Vassilios Skouris, President of the European Court of Justice (2013-2015)

Date: 25 September 2018


 Enrique Barón Crespo, President of the European Parliament (1989-1992)

Date: 23 October 2018


Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council (2009-2014) 

Date: 10 December 2018