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Governance in the EU: Policies



The (provisional) timetable is on the this page


This course is a seminar on EU policy-making with a focus on theories of European Integration, analysis of EU policies in various areas, and the relationship between these two. It covers the development and structure of the following domains: Single Market, Economic and Monetary Union, agriculture, regional, employment and environmental policy, and Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Course objectives

The objective of the course is to give students a solid foundation for analyzing EU policies and policy-making. This will be done by examining a range of different policy areas, where the degree of EU competence and the policy mode vary. Students are expected to acquire a descriptive knowledge of the different empirical policies and familiarize themselves with relevant theories of EU policy-making. Moreover, they will learn how to apply these different theories in case studies within the EU policy process.

Methods of Instruction

The seminar crucially depends on the active participation of the students. Teams of students prepare extended presentations of the topic for the day. In particular, they provide an integrated account of the required readings consisting of theoretical literature and general information about the policy field of the week. Then they apply this general knowledge to a selected case, about which each group has to independently collect information (see below ‘Team Presentations’ for further information). Presentations last about 45 minutes and are followed by discussion with the whole group. This implies that the rest of the group must read the required reading very carefully as well.


Regular attendance is required. Grading is based on the team work (30%), participation in the discussions (20%), weekly quizzes (20%) and a take home exam (24 hours) based on some questions that transcend individual policy fields (30%). Passing both the take home exam (5.5) and the quizzes (5.5) are preconditions for passing the seminar.


Basic knowledge about the institutions and the policy making process in the EU is required. Students who have not attended an introduction to the EU are advised to consult the most recent edition of an introductory textbook as background reading, for instance: Herman Lelieveldt and Sebastian Princen (2011) The Politics of the European Union, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press or Neill Nugent (2010) Government and Politics of the European Union, Palgrave: Palgrave University Press.

The seminar will be based on the following books:

  • Helen Wallace, Mark A. Pollack and Alasdair R. Young (2010) Policy making in the European Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press (6th edition!).

  • Simon Hix and Bjørn Høyland (2011) The Political System of the European Union. Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (3rd edition!).

  • Additional required literature is made available on Blackboard.


Instructor uses Blackboard.



Contact information

Petya Alexandrova
Office: Montesquieu Institute, Lange Voorhout 86, Unit 32 (3rd floor)

Remarks / Preparation for first session

Students should prepare the following readings for the first session:

  • Wallace, Helen, Mark A. Pollack and Alasdair R. Young (2010) ‘An overview’, in Helen Wallace, Mark A. Pollack and Alasdair R. Young. Policy making in the European Union. Oxford University Press (6th edition!), pp. 3-14.

  • Hix, Simon and Bjørn Høyland (2011) ‘Explaining the EU Political System’ (chapter 1), in The Political System of the European Union. Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1-22.