The course will introduce students to the basic principles of the European Union and describe the processes of widening and deepening of this unique political entity. At the beginning, we will review the genesis of the world’s only supranational organization that led to cooperation between member states and a peaceful development on the continent unseen in previous centuries. As the European Union is defined and perceived largely through the prism of its institutions, we will examine their role in pushing the integration process forward. Since EU policies are the frame of its institutions, we will discuss in more detail the historical development and current state of EU policies in the fields of foreign and security affairs, immigration, climate and energy, and economy. The latter will put particular focus on the Euro regularities.
We will engage in discussions about foreign policy cases like Turkey and Syria, but also relate to the new US administration in terms of the traditional transatlantic partnership. Another policy scheme is the impact of previous (and future?) mass migration into Europe.
Furthermore, we address Europe’s response strategy to tackle the bank and state crisis in face of its threat to the social standards in Europe (e.g. Greece). We will also discuss possible findings from the aftermath of the so-called EURO and state crisis.
Moreover, we will review the European climate and energy policy and study consequences of the climate agreement from Paris for the EU member states particularly after the US withdrawal. We will also deal with the question of Europe’s energy sovereignty in contrast to market demands.
Having determined the factors contributing to the deepening of the EU through its institutions, we will discuss the criteria that have influence over the willingness of different countries to join (Ukraine, Georgia, possibly Turkey – at least in the past) but also to leave (e.g. BREXIT) the EU. Finally, we will review the EU enlargement process and assume prospects for its future development. What are challenges now and in the future? Is the EU still a role model? If yes, why? If not, why is it not anymore?
Students from different countries and backgrounds who are generally interested in European integration will benefit from each other in an intercultural and interdisciplinary learning process. The course does not require special knowledge about European politics, law, history or culture, but participants should be interested in more than just their field of specialization. In-class participation, especially in the discussions with experts, is essential for the course success and plays an important role in grading.
The course is designed for students with different academic backgrounds and a general interest in Europe. There are no special prerequisites for the course.
A course reader will be provided.