Denmark, Aarhus

The European Union: From an “Ever Closer Union” to Differentiated Integration?

when 3 July 2013 - 31 July 2013
duration 4 weeks
credits 9.9 ECTS

The objective of this summer academy is to provide students with specific knowledge about the historical development as well as the economic, societal, political and philosophical dimensions of the European integration process. Students will gain an understanding of the major historical problems that shape European politics. This is important to understand most of the problems the EU has to face today, ranging from the currency crisis to foreign relations. Additionally, the course aims to introduce students to major concepts of European integration, including federalism, Europeanization, intergovernmentalism and differentiated integration. Thus, participants are required to work with theoretical approaches in order to make conclusive assessments on the future of the European Union, basing their judgments not simply on basic facts, but rather on theories and academic debates.

Main issues:
The European Union is the most prominent example of how regional integration works. For 27+ European states, supranational policy-making determines not only their political and economic systems; furthermore the global challenges of the 21st century illustrate the limitations of power of individual governments, thus requiring common approaches. As a consequence, integration is also considered important for European security, energy policy and other areas of policymaking. The course also addresses the issue of democratic accountability. How are citizens being represented in the EU polity? What mechanisms can enforce public participation? The course starts with a session on how the European integration process actually started after the Second World War. We will discuss key actors, ideas and issues and assess if the process was actually as straightforward as it is often depicted in hindsight. Then, the course will give an overview over the political development of the integration process from the 1950s until today. A closer look will be taken at the protagonists, institutions and procedures that are characterizing the EU. This course will cover the most important EU policy fields and discuss how they have been put into practice. Students will learn about the legal structure, key policies and the EU as a global player. In addition, we will discuss important EU related topics such as EU enlargement, issues on European security and critical questions concerning the future EU. Students will gain an understanding of both successful and challenging aspects of EU policy, and the dynamic behind EU and EU Member State competences (exclusive, shared and supporting) for policymaking and implementation.

Course leader

Christoph Schnellbach, Ludwig Maximilian Universität, Germany

Target group

Master students

Course aim

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

- Distinguish the diverse policy fields and competencies of the EU.
- Understand why certain policy areas are significantly more developed than others.
- Critically assess the successes and drawbacks of European integration.
- Understand how EU policy is put into practice.
- Understand, discuss and debate pros, cons and challenges to implementing EU policy.
- Work with different theoretical approaches on European integration.

Fee info

EUR 0: Students on a bilateral exchange programme do not have to pay. Freemovers are obliged to pay participation fees while tuition fees only apply to freemovers from countries outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland.