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EUR2110 - The European Union: Institutions, policy-making and evolution

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Pascaline Winand


Caulfield Second semester 2009 (Day)


This unit provides an introduction to the European Union. Now enlarged to 27 countries, the EU is a significant presence in the world. Students will study its origins, institutions, decision-making processes and policies. They will explore the interplay between its institutions, member states, agencies, regions and civil society. They will gain an understanding of its policy-making in various fields including trade, development and security and their impact on its external relations. They will discuss recent issues, developments and debates and consider its successes and failings. The unit will include short videos and recordings of key participants and events in the evolution of the EU.


Students will gain:

  1. an understanding of the origins and evolution of the European Union;
  2. an informed appreciation of the EU's functions and powers, and the composition of its institutions and agencies, including the European Council, the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice, the European Central Bank, the Committee of the Regions, the European Environment Agency;
  3. an understanding of EU policies including Competition Policy, the C ommon Commercial Policy, the Common Agricultural Policy, Economic and Monetary Union, Environmental Policy, Social Policy, Common Foreign and Security Policy/European Security and Defence Policy, Development Policy, Justice and Home Affairs;
  4. an understanding of key internal and external challenges to the European Union, including enlargement, social policy, debates on the constitutional treaty and relations between European citizens, EU institutions and EU member states;
  5. an appreciation of the functioning of EU institutions in EU external relations;
  6. an understanding of the relations of the EU with key countries and regions, including the United States, Asia and Australia;
  7. strong skills in the critical reading of a variety of texts and the academic scholarship based upon those texts;
  8. strong skills in critical oral and written assessment of the academic scholarship, including methods, assumptions and uses of evidence, and in organising and defending a verbal and written argument based upon those assessments;
  9. a capacity to devise, plan and successfully complete a research essay; and
  10. a capacity to reflect upon and make critical use of a range of resources including, where relevant, on-line materials.


Written work (inc. Oral presentation to be writen up): 56% (2500 words)
2 hour Exam: 44%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 lecture and 1 tutorial) per week



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