Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Institutions of the European Union

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European Studies

DESCRIPTION The main objective of the study-unit is a political analysis of the main institutions of the EU staring with the founding treaties, the main legislative instruments (directives, regulations etc.), the legislative process, relations between the main institutions. The unit also provides information about the structure, composition, powers and appointments of the main institutions namely the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors and the European Central Bank (ECB). Time permitting the study-unit also introduces students to the work of the specialized agencies such as the European Environmental Agency etc. (broad treatment of their objectives and work, since there are too many of them) but no individual analysis, although reference to the functions of some of them is used for illustrative purposes).

Study-unit Aims:

The main aim is to provide students with a sound knowledge of the EU institutions which will serve as knowledge for its own sake of knowledge to serve the student when pursuing other European integration studies or study-units where a knowledge of the Institutions is required to help the student to follow the course.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to speak with relative ease on the basis of sound information on the main functions of the institutions in the decision-making process of the EU, their power and how these institutions are appointed or structured (e.g. appointment of the Commission, the Court and the Court of Auditors), election of Parliament, representation/participation in Council.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to write and speak about the most basic functions, objectives and powers of the EU institutions and their relation to one another.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

John Peterson and Michael Shackleton, The Institutions of the European Union, Third Edition,The New European Union Series ISBN 978-0-19-957498-8, 22 March 2012.

E-book: The ABC of European Union law, by Professor Klaus-Dieter Borchardt

E-Book: The Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union


Articles and Briefing Notes on the Institutions will be uploaded on VLE.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Students are required to register for Level 1 Units if they are in Year 1, for Level 2 Units if they are in Year 2, and for Level 3 Units if they are in Year 3 or 4 of their Course.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Roderick Pace

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.