TAS205 Introduction to the European Union

Teacher responsible:

dr hab. Marek Kucia, prof. UJ

Brief course description:

This first basic course offers an overview of the polity, politics, institutions, policies, and history of the European Union.


On successful completion, students will be acquainted with the basics of the EU development, characteristics of its legal and political system; the structure of the institutional system; decision-making procedures and major challenges for the future of the EU. The course has been designed to give students the skills needed to analyse and assess both historical and current developments in the EU. The course provides a necessary basis and prepares students to take more advanced courses on European affairs.


1. Course introduction.
The European Union vis-à-vis Europe and the world: a  political geography.
2.The EU as a polity: institutional system and division of competences.
3. The History of European Integration (Part I): From the Schuman Plan to the Treaty of Maastricht.
4.The History of European Integration (Part II): From the Treaty of Maastricht to the Treaty of Lisbon and beyond.
5.The EU Enlargements.
6.The European Council, The Council of the European Union.
7.The European Commission, The European Parliament.
8.EU law and the Court of the European Union.
9. Other institutions and bodies.
10. The policy process, policy- and decision-making. The budget of the EU.
11.Selected EU policies.
12. Current challenges facing the EU.

Reading list:

Source of Basic Reading:

Nugent, N. (2010) The Government and Politics of the European Union, 7th edn (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

Sources of Supplementary/Alternative Reading:

Cini, M. and Perez-Solorzano Borragan, M. (eds) (2009) European Union Politics, 3rd edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Dinan, D. (2010) Ever Closer Union. An Introduction to the European Union, 4th edn (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
Hix, S. and Høyland, B. (2011) The Political System of the European Union, 3rd edn (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
McCormick, J. (2011) European Union Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).