Accueil > The European Union: A house of cards or a governance model for others to follow?


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Although no specific prior knowledge is required, students should have a genuine interest for the EU and its decision-making processes (institutional set-up, policy formulation…). Students should be comfortable working in English, both spoken and written, as students will be expected to deliver pieces of work and debate in that language.

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the European Union, providing them with an overview of its origins, functions and current challenges. Starting by retracing the EU's historical development to understand its current structure and powers, the course will then analyse the nature of the EU political system for which theoretical approaches to EU integration will be introduced. We will examine key EU institutions (European Commission, Council of the European Union, European Council and the European Parliament) and explore how they work in practice: their appointment, their functions, their powers and how they interact with each other. The course will then investigate fundamental EU policy questions and examine the opportunities and risks associated to further or a lack of EU integration: from the EU budget and completing the Economic and Monetary Union to managing the UK's decision to withdraw from the EU, defining the EU27's future, democratising the system and creating a Europe that delivers on citizens' expectations.


BRALEY, Alexander M. (Political Officer)

Course validation

Students will be assessed continuously on the basis of: Participation in class, contributions to discussions/debates and demonstrating the required reading for each session was completed ; Oral presentation with PowerPoint ; Concise written submissions (1x policy paper, 1x media summary, 1x briefing, 1x reflection paper).


The workload is moderate. Whilst there are more assignments than the average course, these are limited in length and should be concise to reflect what would be expected from you in a professional environment. Students can expect to get as much out of this course as they themselves invest.

Required reading

  • Treaty on European Union & Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
  • BUONANNO, Laurie, and NUGENT, Nigel, Policies and Policy Processes of the European Union, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013, Basingstoke
  • COSTA, Olivier and BRACK, Nathalie, Le fonctionnement de l'Union Européenne, 3rd édition, Université Bruxelles, 2017, Brussels
  • HIX, Simon, The Political System of the European Union, 3rd edition, Palgrave MacMillan, 2011, Basingstoke
  • JACQUÉ, Jean-Paul, Droit institutionnel de l'Union européenne, 8ème édition, Dalloz, 2015, Paris