Course Description

Course Name

Economics and Politics of the EU

Session: VSVF1118

Hours & Credits

45 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Overview

LEVEL:Taught in English, Open to all language levels

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course aims to open a critical window to the future of this common project from the current situation, covering much more than just grasping the history of the historical events, the working of the political institutions or the economic integration.

The first part traces the shared European feeling and the different integrating projects up to now. We will analyze the institutions through their functioning. The second part overviews the European economy, the single currency and their impact on the European social model. The third part uses the historical, economical and political knowledge to discuss critically the enlargement process towards Eastern Europe. It will also focus on the relationship with other global actors, and also with other countries and cultures.

COURSE OUTLINE:
FIRST PART
UNIT 1 - WHY A EUROPEAN UNION HISTORY, CULTURE AND IDENTITY IN EUROPE?
Rationale for the European project. The antecedents of a united Europe: from the Roman Empire to Hitler`s Third Reich. The European ideal from Erasmus of Rotterdam to Winston Churchill. The search for a European identity. Europe`s heritage. Nationalism and the idea of Europe. Who are the Europeans? European diversity, experience and vision. A quick survey of Europe's 27 member countries.

UNIT 2 - THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS
The European construction process: from the Treaty of Paris (European Carbon and Steel Community -ECSC- 1951) to the Treaty of Lisbon (2007). Who takes the decisions? The Commission, the Council and the European Parliament. The political protagonists: euroskeptics -vs- federalists, from Jean Monnet to José Manuel Barroso.

SECOND PART
UNIT 3 - ECONOMIC INTEGRATION I
From the ECSC (European Carbon and Steel Community, 1951) to the euro (2002). The impact of successive enlargements: from the Europe of Six to the Europe of Twenty seven. Competition and aid policy: from the Single Market Program to EMU (Economic and Monetary Union). Industrial policy and business in Europe: can Europe compete in a globalized world? European corporate cultures.

UNIT 4 - ECONOMIC INTEGRATION II
The Common Policies: Trade Policy, Agricultural Policy, Regional Development and EMU (Economic and Monetary Union). A detailed analysis of the introduction, impact and workings of the euro. The European Central Bank. The European Union and the international trade system: the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the Doha Round.

UNIT 5 - ECONOMIC INTEGRATION III: THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL MODEL
Business environment and social policy in Europe. The social dimension of the European Single Market: the Social Charter and the Union's social legislation. Labor markets in Europe: the Anglo-Saxon and continental models. The EU employment strategy. Industrial relations in Europe (employers and unions). The European workplace in transition: work flexibility, productivity and innovation in a globalized and knowledge-driven economy. Gender equality. Working time regulations. Environmental policy and health coverage in Europe. Is there such a thing as a European Social Model?.

THIRD PART
UNIT 6 - JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS, IMMIGRATION, EDUCATION AND CULTURAL POLICY
The European Court of Justice. The Schengen Agreements: Judicial, police and customs cooperation. European citizenship and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Asylum and immigration policy. Europe as a multicultural society: immigrants, religion and minority rights. The Bologna Agreements: European cooperation in higher education. Linguistic and cultural policies: the Media and Erasmus programs. The European budget and the Court of Auditors.

UNIT 7 - THE UNION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: DILEMMAS AND CHOICES.
The quandary of the European Constitution. A detailed analysis of the institutional arrangements of the Treaty of Lisbon (2007). Future enlargement prospects: the Balkans, Ukraine, and the strategic dilemma posed by Turkey. The political dynamics of todays's Europe: 'new Europe' vs 'old Europe', left -vs- right, integrationists -vs- expansionists, motor countries -vs- skeptical countries, heavyweights, lightweights and in-betweens. The current generation of leaders: Brown, Sarkozy, Merkel, Zapatero, Prodi. The future President of the European Council.

UNIT 8 - EUROPE AND THE WORLD
Overview: European foreign policies from the end of WWII to the Iraq war. The common foreign and security policy in the Treaty of Lisbon: the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy and the new European External Action Service. Development and humanitarian aid policy. The transatlantic relationship with the USA. Europe and the Mediterranean. European policy in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and East Asia. Europe and the multilateral international institutions: preparing for a multi-polar world. The question of European values and a European identity in the 21st Century.

GRADING:
30% midterm examination
40% final examination
30% class attitude, participation, oral presentations, homework, and research work.

 

*Course content subject to change