The Institutional Framework of the European Union

Lena HornkohlJuly 15 – July 264 ECTS credits


The course will focus on the unique institutional framework and political system of the European Union. Students will be introduced to the main institutions and the main policy and decision-making procedures.

The course will focus, inter alia, on:

  • The main sources and effects of EU law (and where relevant their repercussions on the institutional framework)
  • The structure and role of the main European institutions within the EU’s institutional framework (and where relevant their evolution during the process of European integration): the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of Ministers, the European Commission and the Court of Justice
  • The role of Member States in the EU institutional framework
  • Some of the main procedures in the EU legislative and decision-making-process (with a focus on the ordinary legislative procedure, the division of competences between the EU and its Member States, the role of the non-institutional actors in the legislative process, and generally the quality of democracy in the EU)

The course very much builds on the active participation of participants. Class discussions, case exercises, presentations, group work, debates and a simulation exercise form an integral part of the program.


Requirements: General class participation and involvement in participatory elements (case exercises, group work, debates, simulations) are 30% of the grade, a (group) presentation 20%, and a final exam 50%.


It is recommended to take this course in conjunction with Dr. Bernhard Schima’s course: European Union Law.