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Criticisms of the European project



Support for the European Union is by no means a given amongst many Europeans these days. Many European citizens are skeptical or even outright critical about the European project. This course examines what the causes for these criticisms are, how they manifest themselves and what impact they have on the European Union today.

In this course we firstly examine what criticism of the European project entails, who are its most vocal stakeholders, and what they base their claims on. Secondly we examine how this criticism and Euroscepticism in general impact on debates on and the scope for European integration. In this context we also investigate the effects of the Eurocrisis and austerity more generally on Euroscepticism. The reaction by the European Union to criticism and Euroscepticism and its attempts to bring the Union closer to the citizens will also be discussed.

The course will use a variety of sources (for example data from the Eurobarometer, journal articles, policy documents from political parties and European institutions), which will be analysed in conjunction with the secondary literature.

Course objectives

The course will analyse various Europe-wide forms of Euroscepticism, its effects on public debate and European integration and the ways in which attempts are made to counter Euroceptism. Finally, we will discuss criticism of the European Union in a few countries in depth.

Mode of instruction


Course load

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours:

  • hours spent on attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours;

  • time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures: 4 hours per week x 12 = 48 hours;

  • preparing the in class presentation: 8 hours;

  • researching and writing the end of term paper: 60 hours.

Assessment method

All participants will be expected to:

  • take active part in class discussions (20%);

  • give a presentation (20%);

  • write a policy paper on this topic (60%).

There will be a retake for the policy paper.

Reading list

The compulsory literature for weekly readings will be made available during the course.


Through uSis



Contact information

Mw. Dr. mr. A-I. Richard