Aim of the course
Students should read and reflect on the functions of the European Union and participate in discussions about the particular challenges of researching EU-related topics or the EU dimension of other subject areas. We will look at four major areas, but there are others we may discuss too.
1. Economic Europe We look at the extent to which Economic Union has dominated the work of the European Community/European Union and been a driver for entrenching the ‘four freedoms’. We discuss the changing emphasis of agricultural policy; the importance of structural funds; and the challenges presented by economic inequality.
2. Social Europe We explore the limitations of the EU’s role in social policy and the continuing divergences between member states. We also discuss the mechanisms by which the EU’s economic policies spill over into other areas of life, and investigate principles such as anti-discrimination.
3. The EU as a global player We look at the introduction of a ‘second pillar’ to the EU’s activities in the 1990s and explore the limits of the EU as a foreign policy actor.
4. Justice and home affairs We examine the introduction of a ‘third pillar’ to the EU’s activities in the 1990s, and ask why issues such as migration and security have come to dominate its agenda.