Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Future of the European Union

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European Studies

DESCRIPTION The study-unit focuses on events in the EU from 2010 onwards, the start of the Euro Crisis. The aim is to study and maintain a brief of the dynamics and proposals surrounding the future of Europe. The study-unit will be based on the following main subject areas:

(a) Proposals for a more integrated EU;
(b) The position on (b) of the various political groups within the European Parliament;
(c) National Politics and elections in the key EU states - and their effect on EU level politics on issues directly related to the future of Europe;
(d) The Enlargement of the EU and the effect of Turkey's membership negotiations (stalled) and their impact on the identity of Europe;
(e) Brexit - how is it likely to affect the future of Europe?;
(f) The future of the Euro and EMU and the future of Europe.

Attention will be paid to the effect of all the parts mentioned from (a) to (f) on each other (cross impacts).

One of the aims of this study-unit is to construct an open access database where the texts and material gathered could be placed at the disposal of students and academics alike - whoever is interested will be invited to submit texts for the database which will be vetted by course co-ordinator.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim is to encourage European Studies Students to acquire a grasp of the ongoing European debate on the future of the EU. The objective of this study unit is to ensure that students obtain a strong background into this debate and its implications. There are several contending approaches to the future of the EU: for example, the Spinelli Group and several of the more established movements in favour of European integration are proposing a federal union; others are critical of the federal union, both on grounds of policy and also because they believe that the time is not ripe for further treaty reforms. Some of those who contest the European model are in opposition to the euro (Cinque Stelle and Lega in Italy) others are opposed to the EU and want it to be replaced by a system of nation-states. There are several other positions and nuances. To understand the politics of contemporary Europe, students of European Studies need to recognize not only the various positions on the future of Europe as briefly outlined here but also their relation to one another and to the political stances that are likely to be adopted by the member states and the Institutions (European Parliament and the Commission) at EU level.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to the student should be knowledgeable of the various currents in the EU which play a causal role in shaping the EU in the years to come. Decisions taken in the EU institutions do not only have implications for the EU as a whole and the member states, but also reflect the political debate/cleavages we find at the national level. In turn the positions taken by pan-European movements and political parties as well as the institutions influence the kind of proposals that are fielded from time to time suggesting diverse paths to the development of the EU.

At the end of the study-unit, students should have a deep and sound appraisal of these currents of thought and proposals for political actions, that impinge on policy formulation and execution.

2. Skills

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to discern the main sources of political pressure that are affecting the future of Europe debate.

They should have the skills required to know what to look for later on as the future of Europe debate continues to unfold - at a phase when these students have completed their studies and embarked on a career.

They should feel confident in speaking about the challenges posed by this process, the changing dynamics of the debate and other main issues that are the focus of analysis in this area as well as which sources of information to tap and how.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

The following books will be ordered and placed at the EDC for the students' attention (and ordered for the main library). Articles from academic journals and papers from reputable sources will also be added in the bibliography. One of the aim is to collect a number of texts which will be updated and made available to students and staff alike.

Main Texts

- Sergio Fabbrini. (2019). Europe's Future: Decoupling and Reforming. Cambridge University Press.
- Benjamin Martill (Editor), Uta Staiger (Editor)Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe Paperback – UCL Press. 2018.
- Tim Oliver (Editor). Europe's Brexit. Agenda, UK, 2018.
- Europe's Last Chance: Why the European States Must Form a More Perfect Union. 19 Jan 2017. Guy Verhofstadt.
- The Trouble with Europe: Why the EU isn't Working, How it Can be Reformed, How Brexit Could Change Europe. 18 Apr 2016. Roger Bootle.
- A Fundamental Law of the European Union. 30 Nov 2014. The Spinelli Group and Bertelsmann Stiftung.
- The Euro: And it’s Threat to the Future of Europe. 16 Aug 2016. Joseph Stiglitz.
- The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe. 16 Aug 2016. Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Supplementary Texts

- Europe’s Orphan: The Future of the Euro and the Politics of Debt. 4 Sep 2015. Martin Sandbu.
- Chronicles: On Our Troubled Times. 6 Apr 2016. Thomas Piketty (Author).
- Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe. 3 Jun 2016. James K. Galbraith.
- The Future of Europe: Towards a Two-Speed EU? 22 Dec 2011. Jean-Claude Piris.
- Slippery Slope: Europe's Troubled Future. 12 May 2016. Giles Merritt.
- Euroclash: The EU, European Identity, and the Future of Europe. 10 Apr 2008. Neil Fligstein.
- The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline. 13 Oct 2006. Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi.
- The Dark Side of European Integration (Explorations of the Far Right). 10 Jan 2017. Alina Polyakova.

ADDITIONAL NOTES This study-unit is only offered to Bachelor of European Studies/Bachelor of European Studies (Hons) students.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Case Study (Take Home) SEM2 Yes 10%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 90%

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.