The European Union (in English)

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The European Union (in English)

  • Host University

    Universidad Pablo de Olavide

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Economics, International Economics, International Relations, International Studies, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The aim of this course is that on its completion students will have a much better understanding of the ?identity? and functioning of the EU both as a geographical regional polity and as an on-going process of political and economic integration, with global significance. The complexity of the EU means it can be studied from a number of different perspectives. The course adopts a general multidisciplinary approach: historical, geographical and cultural aspects considered necessary accompaniments to the main politicoeconomic framework adopted.

    After initially situating the students within the context of the present EU of 27 members, the course begins by offering the students an historical overview of the motives and often conflictual forces lying behind the creation and subsequent development of the EU, best reflected in the main treaties signed: Paris, Rome, SEA, Maastricht, etc. Policy-making is notoriously complex in the EU. Getting to grips with it demands a clear understanding of the role and powers of its principal institutions ? the Council, European Commission, European Parliament, European Council and European Court of Justice ? and how they interact with each other (and national governments), to produce hybrid ?supranational? laws/policy initiatives; a process, which of course, is not without its many detractors.

    At the heart of the EU is the Single Market and its connected Competition Policy. As regional/global social forces push the four freedoms and deepen the process of economic integration (not without some resistance) pressure for Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) increases. How and why the member states chose to abandon their currencies in favor of an untested common currency needs to be examined, as does the euro?s effect on the region, and on the international monetary system in general (e.g. US$). Yet the EU claims to be more than just an ?economic club?; frequently stressing how its various collectively financed common polices have improved the quality of life of its citizens. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the most expensive of these, and the focus of much debate. Are the critics justified in there demand that it be dismantled?

    The EU?s place in the world is then addressed. While accepting the intrinsic interconnection of politics and economics the course will first consider Europe?s foreign policy concerns, interests and responses to challenges arising in the globalized post-Cold War world before assessing the region?s Common Commercial Policy with the rest of the world, notably the US, ACP Countries, and China. Recent Enlargement (2004/7) has posed many challenges for ?old? and ?young? members alike, requiring substantial economic and institutional reform and accompanied by debates on efficiency, democracy, equality and identity, intensified even further with the potential future incorporation of that eternal ?bridesmaid?, Turkey.

    - McCormick, John, Understanding the European Union: a Concise Introduction, 4th Edition (Basingstoke, Hampshire, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).
    - Articles: Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, official EU documents

    This course will have two exams. The student?s final grade will also include a mandatory oral
    presentations/paper addressing relevant EU topics and debates. Students will be required to complete assigned readings/summarize articles etc outside class and to actively participate in class discussions, all of which will be reflected in their final ?participation? grade. (NB: ?being there? does not = ?participation?).

    Midterm Exam 30%
    Final Exam 30%
    Presentations 20%
    articipation 20%

    Exam dates will not be changed under any circumstances. Attendance is mandatory. More than 3 unexcused absences will result in the lowering of the grade. Students with more than 2 such absences may not challenge the final grade received.

    1. Historical Context: Why move to integration?
    - Post-War European/US; Cold War; Marshall Plan; OEEC; Council of Europe; ECSC; EDC
    2. Evolution of the EU: Key Treaties
    - EEC; EFTA; 1960s/70s; SEA; Maastricht; EEA; Amsterdam etc; Constitution; integration stages
    3. Institutional Framework
    - European Commission; Council; European Council; European Parliament; ECJ; others
    4. Policy-making Process
    - Sources of EU law; policy environment; legislative process; democratic deficit; multi-speeding
    5. Route to EMU
    - benefits of a single currency; early interest in EMU; EMS/ERM; significance of SEA; Maastricht timetable; convergence criteria; stability and growth pact; launching of EMU
    6. Economic Policy
    - Functioning, management & challenges of ?-zone; the ?Outs?; ?-zone as global player; budget Competition Policy (justification; legislation; mergers; cases etc)
    7. Common Agricultural Policy
    - Creation & Objectives; Financing; Effects; CAP in Global Trade; Attempts at Reform; Future
    8. Foreign Policy Issues
    - Foreign & Security Policy; EU-US Relations; NATO; Russia; Middle East; Terrorism
    9. External Economic Relations
    - Global Player; Common Commercial Policy; WTO; EU-US Relations; EU-ACP Relations; China
    10. Enlargement
    - Command Economies; Negotiation Process; Copenhagen Criteria; Shock Therapy; Challenges for Candidates; Costs/Benefits for EU; Pending Issues for New Members; Future; Turkey

    - - EU web-page - history, policies, legislation, statistics, decisions,
    - - The EU: a Guide for Americans
    - - Council web-page
    - - Analytical articles on world economic/political affairs
    - - EU &World news, economy, country profiles, corporate activities, shares
    - ? UK daily, broad range of on-line national/international news articles
    - - Selection of EU law & politics articles
    - -World news, critical editorials
    - - Real Instituto Elcano - Spain, IR, politics articles
    - - Essays/articles on wide-covering EU issues

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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