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European Integration




Admissions requirements

At least one 100-level WP course, preferably Introduction to Transnational Politics.


This course takes a fresh look at European integration and recent developments in the European Union (EU). We first study theories of European integration to see how they ‘interpret’ the process of European integration. We then explore a range of policy areas and put particular emphasis on how the EU is adapting in terms of its role in international organizations, the role of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and recent developments in terms of European economic and financial governance. The course also studies how some institutional changes – notably since the ratification of the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon – affect the ways in which the EU operates, examples being the European Council as an ‘agenda-setter’, the enhanced role of the European Parliament (EP) and negotiation dynamics within the Council of the EU. Clearly, decision-making in the EU is influenced by political processes and it matters, for example, which political parties are in government in the EU’s member states in terms of the speed and character of decisions taken in various policy areas. Students will contribute to the exploration of such topics by preparing a short presentation, writing essays and exploring a topic more in-depth in the context of a research paper. This final research can focus on a variety of themes, such as developments in European public opinion, challenges to the EU’s diplomatic service, changes in the economic and monetary realm or the role of the EU in global affairs.

Course objectives

In this course, students learn about theories of European integration and recent developments in the European Union (EU). They acquire knowledge on how political processes affect the ways in which EU institutions act and how the EU operates in areas such as external action or economic and monetary governance. They describe, analyze and evaluate recent developments in the EU. On the basis of short essays, a presentation and a final paper, they learn to describe and evaluate recent steps in European integration and on the basis of active class participation on themes in the area of European integration, experience interactive engagement with the course materials.

By writing four short essays, students demonstrate attentive study of the course readings and learn to compare and contrast. Focusing on a specific area of European integration, they demonstrate understanding of the course contents in the framework of an individual, 10-minute presentation. Finally, the research papers help students master and express holistic understanding of the course materials, by applying insights from assigned readings and additional literature to a specific topic within the area of European integration.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course is based on an interactive teaching format. Class sessions will consist of lectures, discussions, short presentations by students and guest lectures. Students will conduct most coursework individually, but will benefit from exchanges of insights and thoughts with their classmates.


The final grade for this course is determined on the basis of:
Research paper (3200 words), 40%
Four 800 word essays, 10% each
15-minute presentation, 10%
Class participation, 10%

All written assignments have to be submitted via the Turnitin tool of the course Blackboard site (before the start of class). For work submitted late, one-half grade will be deducted for each day that the assignment is late.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

The textbooks for this course are:

  • Lelieveldt, Herman and Sebastiaan Princen (2011): The Politics of the European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Zimmermann, Hubert and Andreas Dür, eds. (2012): Key Controversies in European Integration. Houndmills, Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.

  • Hosli, Madeleine, Amie Kreppel, Běla Plechanovová and Amy Verdun, eds. (2013): Decision-Making in the European Union Before and After the Lisbon Treaty (DEUBAL), special issue of West European Politics.

The West European Politics special issue and all other journal readings for this course are available in Leiden University’s digital journal holdings. Manuscripts (non-published) will be made available on the Blackboard course site.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Prof. dr. Madeleine Hosli,