After completing this course students have:
knowledge and understanding of European politics, and decision-making procedures at different decision-making levels;
knowledge and understanding of different theoretical perspectives on European decision-making and influence on policy;
understanding of practices of European governance by means of different specific cases;
practical applications of the readings on a selected case of European lobbying.
Ever since its origin, the European Union aimed to solve cross-border problems, and to avoid military conflict between states. With the widening of the Union from safety and economic issues to environmental, legal and social issues in the 1980s, the impact of the EU has increased dramatically. Increasingly, the EU determines the room for maneuver of the national administrations, business entrepreneurs and civil society. For example, the EU plays an increasingly important role in issues such as migration, health care and the financial crisis. However, the EU also has an increasingly strong impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. We pay in euros, study to become Bachelors or Masters, and are confronted with traffic policies that are directly inspired by the European environmental directives.
This course aims to give more insight into the making of European policies and its consequences for its citizens. The course will therefore use both a bottom-up and a top-down perspective, and focus on the forces that speed up or slow down European integration, the formal and informal procedures by which European policy is made, and the effects of European decision-making for politics, society and citizens. The course will use theoretical perspectives from public administration and political science. The knowledge gained from these insights will be assessed by means of a written exam.
In addition, you will work intensively on a number of recent cases of European governance to gain more understanding in its actual processes. Special attention will be paid to (amongst other things):
- the role of the EU in the financial crisis;
- the role of the EU in the refugee crisis;
- enlargement of the EU and its consequences;
- what are the formal and informal venues for lobbying? What is the most effective strategy to influence decision-making on this issue?
- theoretical and practical insights will come together in a paper that you write on a case of lobbying in Europe; a case selected by yourself by either a civil society actor or governmental actor. Questions addressed in the paper include: how does EU decision-making work in this issue-area and what is a realistic lobby strategy?
Please note that for non-USG bachelor students the course Introduction public administration and organizational science (USG5520/USG5020) or another introductory course covering the subject of public administration is recommended.