One of the major challenges but also opportunities for traditional statehood ‘from above’ is the attempt to bargain for supranational models such as the European Union. This Module introduces you to the rationale for creating the union and for working towards its widening and deepening. It will deal with the many problems and challenges along this way and focus on different European neighborhood policies. In addition, the economic and financial architecture of the union and the implications of the sovereign debt crisis for the Euro zone will be described in detail to you.
This unit deals with the challenges of reforming the EU. It introduces you to some of the major internal challenges the EU faces. The challenges accelerated by continuous enlargement, specifically the 2004 and 2007 enlargement which increased EU membership from 15 to 28, and by tendencies for disintegration and potential exit of member states. These challenges include accountability issues, democratic deficit issues, and the inability of institutions, which were made for few members, to cope with the EU of 28, a number reached with Croatia’s accession in June 2013. Additionally one chapter will be dedicated to the United Kingdom’s planned exit of the EU (“Brexit”). This course will enable you to:
- acquire good understanding of what the democratic deficit and accountability indicates in an European context;
- learn about accountability and democratic problems the EU is facing;
- acquire knowledge about how these issues are dealt with in current research on the challenges the EU faces; and
- analyze how democratic and legitimate the EU is as a political and economic system.