CREDITS: 7.5 ECTS credits / 36 contact hours
The European Union started in 1951 as an attempt to prevent a new World War in Europe. No other region has displayed similar willingness to give up important parts of national sovereignty in pursuit of a stronger global competitive positioning.
The European Union keeps pressuring the integration-process at a pace which is too fast for some and too slow for others. This integration has a direct impact on the daily lives of all citizens in Europe. The accession of the new Central and Eastern European Member-States poses new challenges for the EU. The East-West labour migration, which is driven by wage differentials creates both opportunities and problems. The free movement of people, and the current refugee crisis, has strained social welfare systems in some of the richer Member-States. Political pressures and the credibility of the EU integration system question the present forms of integration. Pressure such as Brexit, the Eurozone crisis and the related high-unemployment figures make national sovereignty more attractive for some voters.
The course offers a comprehensive coverage of the key political and economic policy areas of the European Union with analysis of the different approaches to regional integration throughout the history of the European Union. The course analyses the historical, political and economic bases for the rise of the European Union from its origins in the post-World War II recovery, to its historic enlargement in 2004 and 2007. Most of the present tensions inside the EU directly relate to the economic integration process and reflect on all other fields of European integration.
Further attention is paid to the protection of human rights within the European integration process. A comparison between the European and UN-framework for the protection of human rights will be made and practically applied to specific cases.
The course will give students an in-depth look at the European legal, economic and political landscape. The course contains academic classes around these themes, as well as field trips to a number of relevant institutions.
This intensive course includes:
- Weekend excursion to Brussels – visit to the European Parliament and European Commission (to be confirmed)
- Weekend excursion to The Hague and Amsterdam – visits to the International Criminal Court and International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (to be confirmed)