This introduction outlines the possibilities and perspectives of an intertwining between European integration history and the history of capitalism. Although debates on capitalism have been making a comeback since the 2008 crisis, to date the concept of capitalism remains almost completely avoided by historians of European integration. This introduction thus conceptualizes ‘capitalism’ as a useful analytical tool that should be used by historians of European integration and proposes three major approaches for them to do so: first, by bringing the question of social conflict, integral to the concept of capitalism, into European integration history; second, by better conceptualizing the link between European governance, Europeanization and the globalization of capitalism; and thirdly by investigating the economic, political and ideological models or doctrines that underlie European cooperation, integration, policies and institutions. Finally, the introduction addresses the question of the analytical benefits of an encounter between capitalism and European integration history, focusing on the case of the 1970s. This allows us to qualify the idea of a clear-cut rupture, and better highlight how the shift of these years resulted from a complex bargaining that took place in part at the European level.