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Politics of the European Union



What will be the impact of Brexit on the European Union? How can Europe deal with the migration crisis? Is European Union really in decline? Is the European Union an effective actor in the world and its neighbourhood? Questions and doubts about the principles and future of the European integration process have returned to the public domain. Existing problems in the complex institutional setup of the EU, unclear democratic legitimacy, seemingly burdensome decision-making, and the detachment from the European citizens are topics of reoccurring debates, some of which are as old as the European integration process itself. These debates on the future of European integration cannot be properly understood without situating them in a historical, theoretical and institutional perspective. This is exactly what this course will help you to achieve.

Course Objectives

Upon the successful completion of the course, the students should be able to:
1) Understand the history of the European integration
2) Understand the main theories of European integration and know how they can be applied
3) Understand how the institutions of the European Union work and how the decisions are taken in different policy areas
4) Understand and analyze the current developments related to the European integration

The course is organized around the three main themes. Firstly, the students will learn about the history of European integration and discover the role of different EU institutions, such as the European Commission, European Parliament of the Council of the EU. Secondly, the lectures will focus on the main theories of European integration and how they can explain the decision-making processes. Thirdly, we will address the main debates and developments related to the European integration today, such as Brexit, financial and migration crises or the ideas of differentiated integration.

Mode of Instruction

A series of lectures, which will be delivered in English.

Study material

E. Brunet-Jailly, A. Hurrelmann and A. Verdun (Eds. 2018) European Union Governance and Policy Making. A Canadian Perspective, University of Toronto Press [large number of chapters)
N. Nugent (2017) The Government and Politics of the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan, 8th EDITION [some chapters]
The various chapters or articles are indicated on the course syllabus. All literature can be found in the University library or on Blackboard or can be found freely on the internet. One exception is the textbook that although available through the University library only has limited simultaneous usage. The textbook can be purchased via SPIL or through (online) bookstores. The e-book is available immediately.

Assessment Method

A final exam accounts for 100% of the grade.

The time and location of inspection and debriefing of the exam will be announced via Blackboard no later than the publication of the grades.


See general information on Tab 'Year 1'

Timetable - courses and exams