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OCEU 2090 - The EU Facing the New World's Challenges

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 42

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

The main aim of the course is to introduce students to the history, institutions, workings and future of the European Union. The first half of the course will be dedicated to describing the most important EU institutions, including the Commission, the Council, the Parliament and the ECB, also in their relationships with the member states. The second half of the course will examine some of the fundamental challenges facing the EU as it seeks to become more competitive, to integrate further existing states into a fuller political economic Union, to enlarge its membership and to develop a viable common global trade policy and a more effective and coherent common foreign policy. The course will also examine the political, economic and social convulsions, still evolving in many cases, resulting from the European financial crisis of recent years. The course will analyze, with the benefit of first-hand experience, the conflict between the traditional theoretical aims of the European Union and the complex practical political reality of achieving those aims. To this end a number of case-studies will be analyzed and debated during the course.


  • BENDJABALLAH, Selma (Ingénieure de recherche)
  • LETTA, Enrico (Doyen de l'École des affaires internationales)

Course validation

Mid-term exam ; Final exam ; Oral simulations.

Required reading

  • PETERSON J., SCHACKLETON M., The Institutions of the EU, 2012, Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • The French speakers can also find useful the following books
  • DELIVET P., Les Politiques de l'UE, 2013, Paris, La Documentation française
  • DOUTRIAUX C., LEQUESNE C., Les Institutions européennes après la crise de l'euro, 2013, Paris, La Documentation française

Plans de cours et bibliographies

Lesson 1: Introduction to the multicrisis Eu current framework; economy, refugees, Brexit


  • Loukas Tsoukalis (2016), In defence of Europe. Can the European Project be saved, Oxford Press

Lesson 2: A short history of EU Integration

The lesson will discuss the main Treaties and their content, the enlargements and their issues, and the numerous crises the EU has to face. A short discussion will be devoted to the current economic crisis
Further readings

  • BULMER, S. & C. LEQUESNE (2005) The member states of the European Union, Oxford University Press, Chapter 1.
  • WARLOUZET L., « De Gaulle as a Father of Europe: The unpredictability of the FTA’s failure and the EEC’s success (1956-1958) », in Contemporary European History, 20, 4, 2011, pp. 419-434

Lesson 3: The European Council

The lesson will present the functioning of this rather unknown institution (seat, working language, etc.). A special focus will be devoted to the powers the Council gained thanks to the 2008 economic crisis
Further readings

Lesson 4: The European Commission

Besides the presentation of the functions and powers of the Commission, the lesson will deal with the past and current challenges the institution has to face. Is the Juncker Commission “the last chance for Europe”?
Further readings

  • KASSIM H. and al. (2013) The European Commission of the 21st Century, Oxford University Press, Introduction and Chapter 9

Lesson 5: The European Parliament

The European Parliament is a paradox. Whereas the Parliament has gained a lot of powers, its members seem to be less and less popular. Voter turnout is always decreasing. This lesson will focus on the only directly-elected institution of the EU, its functions and its weaknesses.
Further readings

  • HIX S., RAUNIO T., SCULLY R. (2003), “Fifty years On: Research on the European Parliament”, Journal of Common Market Studies, 41: 191-202

Lesson 6: The European Central Bank and other EU institutions

The lesson will focus on the ECB, its organization and the controversial issue of its independence. Other important institutions, such as the ECJ, the Committee of the Regions, and the Economic and Social Committee will also be analyzed.
Further readings

  • TALANI L. (2005), “The European Central Bank: between growth and stability”, Comparative European Politics, 3:22, 204-231
  • HOWARTH D. (2003), The European Central Bank, the new Leviathan?, Basingstoke

Lesson 7: Enlargement and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP)

How does the accession process work? What are the Copenhagen Criteria? How does the EU deal with the popular Enlargement fatigue? The lesson will answer these questions by focusing on the current controversial candidates to the EU (Turkey)
Further readings

  • PHINNEMORE, D. (2012) ‘From Negotiations to Accession: Lessons from the 2007 Enlargement’ in Cristina Chiva and David Phinnemore (eds), The European Union's 2007 enlargement. London: Routledge.

Lesson 8: The Single Market and Antitrust policies

What are the pillars and the actors of the single Market? After analyzing the main components of this core EU policy, the lesson will focus on some case studies to illustrate these theoretical aspects
Further readings

  • HOLSCHER J. (2009), “Competition and antitrust policy in the enlarged Union; a level playing field?”, Journal of Common Market Studies, 47:4, 863-889

Lesson 9: EU Trade Policy

As an integral area of exclusive Union competence, EU trade policy is a very important component of the EU architecture. The lesson will present its main actors and tools. Some examples of recent Agreements concluded by the EU will also be discussed
Further readings

  • EHRLICH S. (2009), “How Common is the Common External Tariff? Domestic Influences on EU Trade Policy”, Journal of Common Market Studies, 10:1, 115-141
  • LINDEQUE J. & McGUIRE S. (2010), “The diminishing returns to trade policy in the European Union”, Journal of Common Market Studies, 48:5, 1329-1349

Lesson 10: EU Foreign and Security Policy

The CFSP is often presented as one of the weaknesses of the EU. However, institutionally speaking, the CFSP has deeply evolved since the Treaty of Lisbon. To present all these evolutions, the lesson will rely on concrete and recent case studies.
Further readings

  • BICKERTON C (2011), “Towards a Social Theory of EU Foreign and Security Policy”, Journal of Common Market Studies, 49:1, 170-190
  • WOOD, S. (2009) 'The European Union: A Normative or Normal Power?', European Journal of Foreign Affairs, Issue 1, p. 113–128

Lesson 11: Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

The economic crisis has sharply affected the EMU. The issue of Grexit is especially important. What are the consequences of this possible exit on the EU future? The different scenarios will be presented and discussed thanks to recent case studies.
Further readings

  • HAROLD J. (2012), Making the European Monetary Union, Harvard University Press, From Chapter 5 “The snake and other animals”

Lesson 12 : Conclusion

Biographical information