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OAFP 3835 - Introduction to European Institutions

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


No specific knowledge of EU affairs or institutions or past European lectures are required prior to taking this course. However, a vested interest for the topic will be expected from the students as well as a background of European affairs. To this end, regular readings of the press (and books) on EU affairs is explicitly asked for both before the term starts and once the lectures have started.

Course Description

This course aims to provide quite in-depth knowledge of European institutions. It will act as a complement to other Europe-related lectures (notably "Questions européennes") of the "Ecole des Affaires publiques" and is therefore particularly suited for foreign students. The twelve lectures will present all EU institutions (beyond those listed as such in the Treaty) and agencies with more focus on the most important ones. For each institution, part of the history, powers, governance, and policy issues will be reviewed and connected to the current EU policy agenda. Insight of the institution will be provided by guest speakers for the most important ones. Around a third of the lectures will be devoted to three larger themes applying the knowledge of institutions acquired: the past and current reform agenda of the EU institutions ; the interactions of the institutions in managing the global economic crisis and crisis of the Eurozone ; and the EU external agenda (enlargement, development, defence, trade, etc).


  • DORGERET, Nicolas A. (Administrateur de commission parlementaire)
  • MARTY, Olivier P. (Economiste, Direction de la Coopération européenne et de la stratégie - Banque de Développement du Conseil de l'Europe)

Pedagogical format

Each lecture will start with an informal questions and answers session, which consistutes part of the assessment of each student. Participation is also expected thereafter, to a lesser extent. Some parts of the lectures devoted to the main institutions will be given by a (high) civil servant or expert of the institution. Particular preparation of the students will be required for these classes, which will be an occasion to have more insight into the institution and discuss with the guest speaker on potential careers or policy issues. When there is no speaker, a normal lecture will be given by the teacher. Comments on the course work will be made regularly.

Course validation

The assessment of the students will be made up of three marks. First, each student will be required to write two (or more, on a voluntary basis) short briefing notes (“fiches techniques”) on two distinct institutions or themes prior to the lecture presenting them (40%). These will be shared with the entire class on the common web platform. A 10-minute oral presentation on one institution will also be asked from each student but will be prepared in advance (40%). Finally, questions related to previous sessions (the last session of the professor actually delivering the class) will be asked to the class for around 10 minutes at the beginning of each lecture, and thereafter, to gauge students' work and participation (20%).


Each student will be expected to go through / read some of the required and complementary readings (both on the institutions themselves and on the EU and/or Europe) before coming to class. They will also be strongly invited to review / read additional book excerpts, policy briefs and articles that will be distributed by the teacher at the beginning of each lecture so as to get a thorough sense of the EU institutional environment throughout the course. It is expected that both the briefing notes and the presentations will be based on the required and complementary readings as well as on a broader book/press/policy briefs review.

Required reading

  • The dynamics of European integration. Why and when institutions matter, D. Beach, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005 
  • European Union politics, J. McCormick, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011  
  • The institutions of the enlarged EU : continuity and change, E. Best et alii, Edward Elgar, 2008
  • Law of the European Union, J. Fairhurst, Pearson/Longman, 9th edition, 2012 or EU law (Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • The Schuman Report on Europe, “State of the Union 2016”, directed by Th. Chopin and M. Foucher, Editions lignes de repères, 2016 (and previous annual editions)

Additional required reading

  • Les institutions de l'UE après la crise de l'Euro, Y. Doutriaux et Ch. Lequesne (9e edition), La Documentation française, 2013
  • L'Union européenne, directed by R. Dehousse, 4th edition, La documentation française, 2014
  • Traités européens, Jean-Claude Zarka, Gualino, Coll. « En poche », 2015
  • Droit institutionnel de l'Union européenne, LGDJ, 2016
  • Questions européennes, le droit et les politiques de l'Union, directed by T. Jouno, Presses universitaires de France, 2009 
  • Le processus européen de décision après Lisbonne, La Documentation française, 2010
  • La Banque de l'Union européenne, la BEI de 1958 à 2008, BEI 2008 (voir
  • Le Parlement européen, O. Costa et alii, La Documentation française, 2011
  • A quoi sert la Banque centrale européenne ?, E. Le Héron, La documentation française, 2013
  • Le budget de l'UE, S. Saurel, La documentation française, 2010
  • L'élargissement met-il en péril le projet européen, L. Macek, La Documentation française, 2011
  • For a drastic reform of the European institutions, N. Moussis, European law review, 2003
  • La politique étrangère européenne, M. Lefebvre, Que sais-je, 2012
  • L'Europe difficile. Histoire politique de la construction européenne, A. Giacone, B. Olivi, Gallimard, 2007
  • La politique étrangère européenne, M. Lefebvre, Que sais-je, 2012
  • L'Europe peut-elle se passer d'un gouvernement économique ? J-F Jamet, Réflexe Europe, La documentation française, Débat, 2012
  • La politique européenne de développement, une réponse à la crise de la mondialisation, J-M. Debrat, Fondation pour l'Innovation politique, 2009
  • The European neighbourhood policy in perspective: context, implementation and impact, R. Whitman, S. Wolff, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010