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Politics of the European Union

Course 2017-2018


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

  • Coursebook posted on the Blackboard page
  • Textbook: McCormick, J. (2015) European Union Politics, London: Palgrave.


A final exam accounts for 100% of the grade.

First opportunity for a written exam: Thursday 24 May 2018, 13:00-16:00h at the USC

Second opportunity for a written exam: Wednesday 20 June 2018, 13:00-16:00h at the USC


See Preliminary Info at tab 'Jaar 1'