Law and Politics: current topics in the European Union
Full course description
In 1993, with the Treaty of Maastricht, the EU was officially born out of the European Economic Community. From the 6 original member states the Union grew to its present 28 member states. The European Economy is now one of the largest in the world and the past 70 years have been relatively peaceful apart from the Balkan Wars. However, in 2005 the European Constitution failed to get rectified in the Netherlands and France (two of the founder countries) and during the elections in 2017, Holland’s anti-Islamic and Euro-skeptic Party for Freedom (PVV), headed by right-wing politician Geert Wilders, won 20 seats, making it the second-largest party in the House of Representatives. In light of recent and ongoing events like the refugee crisis and Brexit, the question is raised whether the European Union will survive the next decade intact. If asked, most Europeans will tell you that they feel Dutch, or French, or German, but not European. Almost 70 years after Robert Shuman’s hopeful and visionary declaration, it seems that faith in the benefit of a united Europe is wavering and one wonders what the future will hold for this unique experiment.
This course intends to give students a better understanding of the history and politics of the process of European integration. It will also introduce students to the important institutions and some of the most prominent policies of the European Union today. The course is divided into a number of different topics. First, the history of European integration is looked at. Secondly, the institutions of the European Union are examined. The third part examines decision-making and the establishment of the common market. This includes a discussion of the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. The second substantial part of the common market is the EU competition policy, consisting of article 101 and 102 TFEU and the merger control regulation. Finally, the rules on public procurement and state aids will be evaluated.
The course will include a field trip.
Disclaimer: trips and visits related to the course are conditional. E.g. Dutch travel advice should be positive regarding the region that will be visited and institutions should be able to accept visitors. In case a proposed trip or visit cannot continue due to circumstances, alternatives may be organized.
This course consists of 32 class hours divided over 7-8 weeks. Students earn 6 ECTS credits when they obtain a passing grade. Students who need more credits can sign up for the extended course format, which includes an Independent Study Project (ISP) worth an additional 3 ECTS. The maximum number of credits that can be obtained is 9 ECTS.
By the end of the course students will have gained in-depth knowledge of the following subjects:
▪ History of European Integration and possible outcomes
▪ Theories and treaties of European Integration
▪ European Commission and Council
▪ European Parliament and European Court of Justice
▪ EU Decision making process
▪ Nature of EU Law, including Human Rights
▪ EU Common market
▪ EU Common Agricultural Policy
▪ EU Budget
▪ European Constitution
▪ Policies and Policy-Making in the European Union
▪ Economic and Monetary Union
▪ Cohesion Policy
▪ Environmental Policy
▪ Freedom, Security, and Justice
▪ Trade and Development Aid
▪ Common Foreign and Security Policy
Introductory course in Political Science and/or International Relations. A minimum of 8 students are required for the course to take place.
EU Law Directions by author Nigel Foster (2016, OUP, 5th ed.).
Students receive their text books on loan from CES for a €30 deposit. Other materials will be provided electronically via the Student Portal.
- M.J.C. Heckman
- A. Frost