The European Union (EU) has evolved into a political community that deeply affects the daily lives of its citizens. How can we explain the process of European integration? What does the political structure of the EU look like? Who are the most important actors? The lecture class surveys the development of European integration and introduces students to the EU’s political system. We will also discuss theories of European integration and examine major challenges that the EU faces at the beginning of the 21st century. By the end of the semester you should have a basic knowledge of (1) the history of European integration, (2) the political institutions of the EU and its policy-making, (3) the major theories to explain the process of European integration and the functioning of the EU, (4) specific EU policy areas (especially economic, social, environmental policy, external relations, justice and home affairs) and (5) current issues and debates in European Union Politics.
(Professor Carina Sprungk)