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3.17 The European Union in the 21st Century: Internal and External Challenges

Instructor: Dr. Ulrich Brückner
Language of instruction:
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours: 48 (6 per day)
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 1,300
Can be combined with all A-Track courses
🌍 Critical global issues addressed in this course: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16)

Course Description

The course will introduce the basics of the European Union and describe and explain the processes of widening and deepening of this unique political entity. This will cover an overview of European Union history, its evolution in economic and political terms as well as of its institutional structure up to today.

Internal politics and policies, for example the decision-making process, the balance of power, questions about identity and democracy in this new system of governance will be discussed. We study the causes and effects of the war in Europe, its geopolitical dimension and how it affects policies and relations with neighbors and other parts of the world. Particularly important aspects include European Parliamentary elections in June 2024, the geopolitical consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East, relations with the UK after Brexit, the state of transatlantic relations before US presidential elections and how the EU is dealing with China’s and Russia’s alternative models of governance. We will discuss migration and the EU’s transformation into a fossil-free economy. If students express specific interests in other topics or case studies sessions can be adjusted.

The morning sessions consist of lectures, literature-based discussions and oral presentations from working groups. After lunch the course will visit various institutions in Germany`s political center. Students will have the chance to discuss the topics from the morning sessions with international experts from political institutions, embassies and think tanks.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule) Watch an interview with Dr. Ulrich Brückner about his course on our YouTube channel.

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