Netherlands, Utrecht (Utrecht University)

European Politics and Economy

when 4 July 2016 - 15 July 2016
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 4 ECTS
fee EUR 1175

Central to the course is the European Union (EU), a political partnership between 28 democratic European countries with almost 500 million citizens which has become a major player in global politics. Students will be introduced to the history, institutional structures, current aims, and future challenges of the European Union. Lectures will discuss the historical background of the European Union and the various stages of integration. Other issues are the role of European leaders the future political expansion of the EU, transatlantic relations, and the development of a shared foreign policy and development aid.

This course offers students an introduction to the political landscape of Europe. Central to the course is the European Union (EU), a political partnership between 28 democratic European countries with almost 500 million citizens, which has become a major player in global politics. Students will be introduced to the history, institutional structures, current aims, and future challenges of the European Union.

Students will discuss the historical background of the European Union, which originated from a long process of political and economic integration that started after the Second World War and culminated in the formation of the EU by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993. Lectures will discuss the various stages of integration, will evaluate the role of European leaders and will also examine euroscepticism and the resistance to the European project which resulted in the French and Dutch refusal to ratify the European Constitution. Other issues are the future political expansion of the EU, transatlantic relations, and the development of a shared foreign policy and development aid.

Students will also discuss the system of governance within the European Union by the European Parliament (representing the people of Europe); the Council of the European Union (representing national governments); and the European Commission (representing the common EU interest). But they will also learn about the role and function of the various other European institutions such as the European Court of Justice and the European Central Bank.

Other lectures will analyze regional and cultural diversity within Europe, discuss the position of various countries and regions within the larger European family, or look at the role of Europe in the world.

The main venue for the course is Utrecht. The program includes an excursion to Brussels, including a visit to the European Parliament and the NATO headquarters.

You will experience an intensive two-week program with lectures and seminar groups. Together with other students you are expected to work on group presentations and assignments.

Course leader

Dr. Jaap Verheul

Target group

Students – especially those coming from countries outside Europe - of the social sciences, including economics and business, political sciences, European studies, history, culture studies and sociology, the sciences and engineering at senior undergraduate level with an interest in culture, society and politics. A wide range of interests will help, but no specific expertise is required.

Fee info

EUR 1175: course fees + course materials + housing

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