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Politiek van de Europese Unie



What is the European Union (EU)? Where does the EU come from? How are decisions taken at the EU level? This course covers the history, institutional framework, and main theories explaining the development of European integration. In addition, we will discuss current debates and events such as the legacy of the euro and refugee crises, Brexit, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Can the EU respond effectively to crises? Is the EU in decline? Questions and doubts about the principles and future of the European integration process have returned to the public domain. Well-known problems include the complex institutional setup, seemingly burdensome decision-making, the effectiveness of measures, or deficits in democratic accountability and legitimacy. The purpose of the course is to situate these debates in a proper historical, theoretical, and institutional context.

Course Objectives

At the end of the course, students should be able to:
1) Understand the history of the European integration
2) Understand the main theories of European integration and how they can be applied
3) Know how EU institutions work and how decisions are taken in different policy areas
4) Be able to contextualise and analyse current developments related to European integration

The course is organised around three main themes. First, students will learn about the history of European integration and discover the role of different EU institutions, such as the European Commission, the European Parliament, or the Council of the EU. Second, the lectures will focus on the main theories of European integration and how they can explain decision-making processes. Third, we will address the main debates and developments related to the European integration today, such as the euro and refugee crises, Brexit, the response to Covid-19, as well as issues related to legitimacy and democracy in the EU.

Mode of Instruction

A series of lectures, which will be delivered in English.
Lectures to attend: 2 hours twice per week x 7 weeks = 28 hours

Study material

Nugent, N (2017) The Government and Politics of the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan, 8th Edition [some chapters]

Assessment Method

  • 70% Multiple Choice Exam

  • 30% Open Questions

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


See general information on tab 'Year 1'.

Schedules - courses and exams