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FUBiS Term II: European Union – Between Integration and Crisis

(Course # 2.12)

Credit Points6 ECTS-Credits
Number of Places18


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.

Course description

The course will introduce 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 process of the integration forward.

Since EU policies are the frame of its institutions, we will look into the European foreign, economic, environmental, and immigration policy frame in the light of its history since the 1950s. The analysis will entail a discussion of foreign policy cases like Libya and Syria, but also the Ukraine, and in particular of the policy scheme regarding the ongoing mass migration. Furthermore, Europe’s response strategy to the bank and state crisis in face of its threat to the social standards in Europe (e.g. Greece) will be focused. In this context, we will also discuss possible learning effects in the aftermath of the economic crisis and whether it is only a matter of time before such a crisis happens again. Moreover, the European climate and energy policy will be critically reviewed. We will study the consequences of the climate agreement from Paris for the EU member states and look into the repercussions for the energy sector.

Having determined the factors contributing to the deepening of the EU through its institutions, we will discuss the factors which determine the willingness of different countries to join the EU and thus to contribute to its widening. In this regard, Europe’s role as an international actor will be discussed with a special focus on the European role towards Russia and Turkey on the one hand, as well as the Ukraine and Georgia on the other hand. Finally, we will discuss the prospects for the future development of the European Union and the challenges it is facing in a rapidly changing and complex world.


The course is open for students from various disciplines and with a general interest in Europe. A good command of English is prerequisite for this class.

Course requirements

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


  • Participation: 40%
  • Presentation: 30%
  • Final Test: 30%


A course reader will be provided.

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