nl en

Politics of the European Union (for Exchange)



What is the European Union (EU)? What is European Integration? Where does the EU come from? These are some of the fundamental questions about the EU that we will be dealing with in this course. In addition, we will be discussing some current issues, such as what the impact of will be of the corona crisis and Brexit on the European Union? Is European Union 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, issues around 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. First, 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. Second, the lectures will focus on the main theories of European integration and how they can explain the decision-making processes. Third, we will address the main debates and developments related to the European integration today, such as the Corona Crisis, Brexit, the financial and migration crises, ideas pertaining of differentiated integration and issues around legitimacy and democracy in the EU.

Mode of Instruction


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

Assessment Method

Final Exam: 100% Multiple Choice 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 'Practical Information'

Timetable - courses and exams

See 'MyTimetable'