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O-1.04 European Studies

Instructor: Dr. Jan-Henrik Meyer
Language of instruction:
Course type:
Online subject course
Contact hours: 
The coursework corresponds to an on-site course amounting to 48 contact hours.
Course days
: see class schedule
: 8 am - 12:30 pm CET
ECTS credits
: 4
Course fee:
€ 800 (excl. program fee of € 90/ € 50 with early bird discount until November 9, 2020)
  • Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Course Description

The course will introduce the basics of the European Union (EU) and describe and explain the processes of widening and deepening of this unique political entity, drawing on some relevant theorising. It will provide an overview of European Union history, and will familiarise students with the EU’s evolution in economic and political terms as well as of its institutional structure and key policies up until today.

The focus of the course will be internally on the state of EU integration and its challenges - the need for reform and the growing difficulty to actually agree upon and implement reforms in the face of rising populism, authoritarianism and nationalism. Externally, the course explores the international role of the EU with its emphasis on multilateralism, including its self-declared role as a leader in the fight against climate change. Special emphasis will be placed on Europe’s current crises – the Euro crisis, the migration crisis, Brexit and the challenges resulting from the Corona pandemic that asymmetrically hit Europe.

The sessions consist of lectures, literature-based discussions and oral presentations from working groups. The course will include virtual visits to a number of institutions in Germany’s political center. Students will thus have the chance to discuss some of the topics with experts from political institutions and think tanks.

Student Profile

Students from different countries, academic levels 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, and in virtual presentations is essential for students’ learning experience 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.

Required Language Skills

The language of instruction is English. Language proficiency on an advanced Intermediate level (Mittelstufe II) is a prerequisite for participation. For orientation purposes, you can assess your language skills here (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

General Requirements

Please make sure to be online approximately from 8 am CET to 12:30 pm CET on the respective course days! Therefore, please check the possible time difference between Germany and your country of residence.

We also recommend that you make sure to have a quiet and appropriate working space.

To ensure a comfortable learning environment for all, please adhere to general netiquette rules.

Technical Requirements

  • stable internet connection
  • fully functional device, such as computer, laptop or tablet (use   of smart phones not recommended), headset recommended
  • recommended operating systems: Windows 7 or higher or Mac OS X 10,13 or higher, avoid using a VPN

Course Requirements

Attendance; active participation in the seminar's discussions and discussions with experts; oral and written presentation of a certain subject.


  • Participation: 40%
  • Oral presentations: 30%
  • Final paper: 30%


See course schedule. A course reader will be provided.