This panel is jointly organized by the Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands (VHD) and the Royal Netherlands Historical Society (KNHG). Its central theme is inspired by a work of the Dutch visual artist Rob Scholte, called ‚De Vrede van Münster‘, and commissioned by Museum het Prinsenhof in Delft, at the occasion of the celebration in 1998 of the Peace of Westphalia and its meaning in Dutch state formation. In his work Scholte imagines how great statesmen like Napoleon and Churchill march to progress on the ‚ruins‘ of the European state system. It is a collage that refers to violent clashes, destruction and economic relations inside and outside of Europe, ranging from the Dutch Revolt to the Second World War and decolonization. Will this European state system continue its process of integration, Scholte asked in 1998, or will it lock down again, thereby reviving old hierarchies and patterns of exclusion?