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The European Union Today


Admission requirements

At least BSA (40 EC).


This course has two main aims. The first aim is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the main challenges currently facing the European Union. These challenges relate, among others, to the areas of institutional reform, enlargement, economic crisis, the rise of nationalism, effects of Brexit etc.
The second is to introduce students to the discussion of policy and writing of policy critiques on issues of current EU interest.
During the course, students will develop their knowledge base in relation to the EU, its history, institutional structures and policies. Students will also discuss the main challenges currently facing the European Union. In block I, students will attend plenary sessions in which they will, among other things, decide on their particular policy interest with a view to writing initial sections of their policy review. Block II consists of smaller group workshops that break down the tasks involved in the writing of policy reviews, giving students the opportunity to debate challenges and current policy as well as the actual writing of policy reviews.

Course objectives

  • To develop students’ knowledge of the EU;

  • To introduce students to the EU’s policymaking processes;

  • To identify contemporary challenges facing the EU and acquire knowledge of how policy is formulated in order to respond to them;

  • To develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the political landscape in Europe and the opportunities and constraints faced by European Union policymakers;

  • To critique policy;

  • To develop students’ skills base in respect of: research; critical writing; critical argumentation.


See Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, seminars, group and individual research, group presentations.

Assessment method


  • Active class participation

  • Written exam with closed questions (in-class multiple choice quiz)**

  • Policy review outline (1,000 words)

  • Policy review (2,000 words)


  • General active class participation (20%);

  • Written exam with closed questions (30%);

  • Policy review outline (0%);

  • Policy review (50%).


  • Policy review: Revise and resubmit as a single document

*Results of the written exam will be made available by the end of the course. Questions will be equally weighted unles otherwise indicated.

Exam Review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A detailed reading list will be distributed at the start of the course, including compulsory reading for each class. A good general text recommended for background reading is:

  • Wallace, Helen, Pollack, Mark A., and Young, Alasdair R. (2014) Policy-making in the European Union (7th ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • It is also recommended that students familiarise themselves with resources available at:


Via uSis. .