93413 - Eu Institutions And Policies (50)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Reduced inequalities Climate Action Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to deliver a basic knowledge of the EU institutional system and  policy-making: its focus is the study of European institutions and formal procedures and informal dynamics of decision-making and legislative processes. The second section of the program is focused on the evolution and contents of some significant EU policies (CAP, cohesion policy , environmental policy, external policies and economic and monetary policy). Students are expected to learn the complex working of the EU institutions, to understand the complexity of European policies, programs, regulations and financial instruments that involve national and subnational government.

Course contents

The course is taught in presence. The number of students allowed in class is determined on the basis of class capacity and by the health and safety provisions that deal with the pandemic emergency. In case more students want to attend classes in presence than permitted by the rules, a system of shifts will be organized so to allow students to participate. Regardless of the health-related conditions and the specific organization of the course, students will be able to follow the lessons of the entire course remotely on MS TEAMS.

The course is divided in the following sections.

First section (4 hours) is devoted to the perspective of EU political studies and the study of the main steps of the European integration, EU institutional setting, as innovated by the main Treaties;

Second section (20 hours) presents and analyses the institutional system (internal organization; powers and competencies of the most important EU institutions - Commission, Council, Parliament, Court of Justice, and Central Bank - main interests groups; rules and procedures of decision - making; formal procedures of EU decision making, informal dynamics of institutional cooperation and legislative process are parts of this section.

Third section is focused on different modes of policy-making: community, intergovernmental and coordination methods (4 hours);

Fourth section (22 hours) is devoted to the study of EU policies: trade, agricultural policy and single market (more consolidated, and important from the competence of the EU level); environmental/sustainable development and cohesion (more innovative in recent evolution);economic governance and monetary union, with the mechanism of European Semester.

Two written intermediate tests are scheduled; they consist in open questions over the first and second parts of the programme; two open question for the second test on the policies. Students could write a short paper on topics related to the policies studied, referring to readings and textbooks. Additional and more practical activities consist of: deepenings relevant topics, surf the EU web, research and analyse on official data sosurces.


Compulsory readings:

Brunazzo M. e Della Sala V., 2019, La politica dell'Unione Europea, Firenze Mondadori.

Santaniello R. 2016, Capire l'Unione Europea, Bologna Il Mulino (sections: II, III, IV, VI)

Textbook for Erasmus Students:

Bache I. and Others, 2015, Politics in the European Union, Oxford University press (all sections and chapters on History Institutions and Policies)

- Burns C. and Carter N., 2013, Environmental Policy, in The Oxford Handbook of the European Union, edited by Erik Jones, Anand Menon, and Stephen Weat, Oxford University Press

- Snyder F., 2013, CAP, in The Oxford Handbook of the European Union, edited by Erik Jones, Anand Menon, and Stephen Weatherill

Chapters and articles on EU Policies - Trade, CAP, Cohesion, Environment, External Relations, CFSP - are avalable on line


Suggested readings:

Further reading will be indicated in order to update the study on the latest policy develpments  (papers and articles will be available on


Teaching methods

The program will be almost entirely developed during the lessons. Other instruments will be used;  some lessons are devoted to videos, interviews with leading actors in European politics, insights into current affairs, and on line reviews on EU daily institutional activity ( EurActive and others).

In order to deepen or better understand themes and issues   additional readings will be made available (in english, french, spanish  i.e. for Erasmus students)

Assessment methods

The exam for full-time students consists of two written mid term tests and a final oral examination.

The written tests consist of open questions. It is possible to write a paper on topics covered in class, and agreed with the teacher.

The oral examination will be focused on the policies of the EU studied in the final part of the class lessons.

The intermediate tests and the final oral exam allow to verify the level of learning and knowledge of EU institutions and policies. the ability to use the  appropriate language, the ability to analyze the functioning of EU institutions and policies, which should constitute the acquired knowledge.

The final grade will be composed through the mean of the scores obtained in the 3 tests, and taking into consideration the eventual improvement during the course showed by students.


Teaching tools

Main tools are references listed in "Recommended readings" plus some widening readings, suggested by the teacher during the course, the EU web-site, newspapers, on line journal and news, on line papers, EU data-set, etc. (http://www.ceps.eu, http://euractiv.com [http://euractiv.com/] )

Office hours

See the website of Renata Lizzi