European Institutions

This is an introductory course about the European Union Institutions. It focuses on the main EU institutions, their structure, composition and their main working mechanisms. The course is designed for students who are at the beginning of their academic path towards comprehensive knowledge about the EU. The course comprises a number of short readings, and links to video and multimedia content. It requires the student to write a number of mini-essay answers for the questions posed, as well as to fill a final, multiple choice test.

Course aims:

  • To familiarize students with the EU institutional architecture
  • To make students aware about the basic functioning of the EU institutions
  • To introduce students with problems concerning the legitimacy of the EU institutions

Learning outcomes:
After completing this module students should be able to:

  • Identify the EU Institutions
  • Link the EU Institutions to relevant legitimizing practices
  • Discern between the supranational and intergovernmental European institutions
  • Understand the basics of how the institutions work and how they come to political decisions
  • Describe the composition of the EU Institutions and their main competencies.


Course overview

Unit One. Introduction to the European Union Institutions
Unit Two. European Commission
Unit Three. European Parliament
Unit Four. European Council and the EU Council
Unit Five. Other Institutions and organizational bodies of the European Union

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Course Authors: Marcin Zubek, Maciej Stepka