POL 309 Advanced European Integration

  • PLEASE NOTE:  this abridged outline is an example description of the course, from past years. Instructors can change elements of the course year-to-year.

    COURSE PREREQUISITES:  45 credits of 100-level or higher coursework.  Note: a 100-level Political Studies course is recommended for preparation.

    COURSE OBJECTIVES:  The student learns the history, structure and activity of the European Union, a significant regional inter-governmental organization as well as an unprecedented form of governance in an increasingly globalized political environment. Students explore the structure, institutions and operations of the European Union, and consider the ramifications of EU decision-making for economic, environmental and social policies (with particular emphasis on EU-Canada relations). Students apply this knowledge to real-world challenges faced by the EU, using writing and presenting skills to demonstrate an understanding of the issues and to attempt to solve problems in a collective setting. The course materials and evaluation expectation will be a level above POL 209. Students in POL 309 take a lead role in the model EU at the end of the course, acting as experts in order to facilitate cooperative outcomes among EU member states represented by 209 students.


    Edited by Michelle Cini and Nieves Perez-Solorzano Borragan (editors). European Union Politics. 4th ed. NY: Oxford UP, 2013.

    Bache, Ian, Stephen George and Simon Bulmer. Politics in the European Union.  4th ed.  2015.

    Supplementary readings supplied by instructor.


    1. RESEARCH PAPER.  A research paper about a particular policy area that requires pan-European jurisdiction, written from the perspective of a Head of Unit (high civil servant) within the corresponding Directorate General of the European Commission (worth 10% of the total grade).
    2. POLICY BRIEF. A written ‘policy brief’ on a problem that is specific to the policy sector above. The brief will define the problem, propose potential solutions, and outline opportunities and impediments to those solutions, at both the national and European level (worth 20% of the total grade).
    3. POLICY CONSULTATION SEMINAR.  A PowerPoint presentation followed by facilitation of a seminar discussion of the policy issue selected in the Policy Brief above (worth 20% of the total grade).
    4. POSITION PAPER FOR COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN MINISTERS.  Acting as European Commission DG Unit Heads, students will be presented with a topical issue of relevance for the EU as a whole (examples: EU-Russia relations; free trade with Canada; Turkish accession; the Bologna Process; Arctic sovereignty, Climate negotiations, illegal immigration; etc.). Each student will produce a position paper on the issue, from the perspective of their Directorate General (worth 25% of the total grade).
    5. MODEL EU. Students will then participate in a Model EU Council of Ministers, with the national Ministers role-played by students at the 209 level. Students discuss a topical problem facing the EU and try to generate an outcome that is satisfactory and possible to implement, for the EU as a whole (worth 25% of the total grade).

    Note: Students who receive credit for POL 309 cannot receive credit for POL 209.