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EU Policymaking and Implementation


Admission requirements

  • admission to the Master Public Administration


People have become more critical of European policy and often seem to prefer local policy solutions in response to globalization problems. How do you experience EU policy? Does it help? And if not, how can we change this? In this course, we learn how EU policy is made, and how policy is transferred to member states and implemented by various authorities, including regional and local governments.

In this course, we discuss the challenges of the European multi-level governance structure by focusing on the various actors that are involved, but also presenting important theoretical perspectives and analytical frameworks. We also focus on the main causes of policy failure or success. On this journey, we focus on actual policy and present the views of various experts: how easy is it to establish yourself in another EU-country? How do governments make sure that the air you breathe is clean? And who is responsible?

In this course, you will be able to do research in your own local setting by focusing on the impact of one of the European policies. In doing this research we aim for making comparisons between different countries or areas, or policies.

Course objectives

  • Students will have an advanced understanding of the European multilevel policy process with an emphasis on the role of various political actors at the EU level and their links with national, regional or local governments, which play a role in the actual implementation of policy, including the theories and analytical frameworks that have been developed in this field.

  • Students will have sufficient capacity to critically analyze policymaking and implementation in the European multilevel context;

  • Students can apply important topics in multilevel governance and policymaking by analyzing concrete cases of policymaking with an emphasis on implementation.


On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

The course is based on blended learning: key topics are explained in brief knowledge clips, which are supplemented with videos on three in-depth examples of EU policymaking and implementation at different levels of governance. These cases are air quality, residence rights and the posting of workers in the EU. EU and regional or local experts explain in these cases the main goals of a policy, but also the way in which these policies are transposed and implemented in their region. During the seminar meetings we discuss the knowledge clips as well as the readings and develop the students’ own research on implementation.

Course Load

Total course load for the course is 140 hours:

  • Attending seminar meetings (21 hours based on 7 meetings)

  • Additional knowledge clips and videos (in total 30 videos), including quizzes and assignments (23 hours)

  • Oral exam and feedback on research paper (1 hour)

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and preparing the research paper (95 hours)

Assessment method

The participants of this seminar are required:

  • to take actively part in the seminar meetings, which are obligatory; and

  • to work on the various quizzes and assignments.

The final grade includes (1) several quizzes and assignments within the context of the blended environment (pass/fail), (2) research paper analyzing policy implementation (60%), and (3) oral exam, demonstrating understanding of and critical assessment of key arguments of the knowledge clips and the readings (40%). In case of no show, or no paper submission before the deadline, no grade will be given, while the student loses his or her possibility of a resit (unless the Board of Examiners decides otherwise).

The grades for the research paper and oral exam must be a 5.5 or higher. The final grade is the weighted mean of the two partial grades and must be a 5.5 or higher. The final grade is conditional on a pass for the quizzes and assignments related to the videos.

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard. On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website, uSis and Blackboard.

Resit oral examination
Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have a mark lower than 5.5 and equal or higher than 3.0 (or with permission of the Board of Examiners).

Resit research paper
Students will be permitted to resit on the research paper if they have a mark lower than 5.5 and equal or higher than 3.0 (or with permission of the Board of Examiners). A revised paper needs to be submitted within 4 weeks after the deadline of the initial paper.


Blackboard is an essential tool of this course. There will be more information posted on Blackboard

Reading list

See the Blackboard pages of the course.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.

Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.

Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted there.


Prof.dr. B. Steunenberg


See for a teaser, watch the clip on youtube about this course. Please note that we have weekly meetings during the course, supplementing the knowledge clips! And you do not need to subscribe at Coursera.