Van Middelaar has written a thesis on the political aspects of the process of European integration, focussing on the Member States, the European institutions and the European Council. In doing so, he has ignored the most successful aspect of the process of integration: the economic aspect. This is a consequence of his philosophical point of departure. According to Van Middelaar, international policy is created at the highest political level, by prime ministers and presidents sitting together in the European Council, discussing power relations, war and peace. In Europe, however, low politics has often been more important than high politics; Van Middelaar’s point of departure, however, makes him blind to some of the essential aspects of the process of integration. Big business, companies, organizations of farmers or consumers, trade unions and even individual citizens have international contacts and, in democratic states, try to protect their interests by influencing the foreign policies of their countries. These influences have been essential to the development of Europe. In Van Middelaar’s thesis – which promises to give us the story of the passage to Europe – this is missed out along with the most successful aspect of Europe: the process of economic integration and the role played by factors other than the highest levels of politics