601:746.    SEMINAR: EUROPEAN UNION: HISTORY, POLITICS & PROSPECTS
        (2)
        
Koller, Peter (Graz visitor)


    The European Union (EU) has become an important economic and political power in the world today. Its development up to its present stage was a rather complex process that may appear somewhat surprising against the background of historical experience, since it emerged in a fully peaceful way from a series of international treaties by which its member states have voluntarily submitted to it. So the EU represents a pretty new type of international community whose political character and legal structure raise many questions. Of course, it is also subject to considerable controversies as to its policies and politics. While large parts of Europeans are still in favor of the EU and support its further strengthening, others think that it has already become too mighty or developed in the wrong direction. Because of these controversies, the EU presently faces a considerable crisis which makes its future prospects uncertain.
The seminar aims at illuminating the history, politics, and prospects of the EU with particular attention to its driving forces, political decision-making procedures and legal structure. Furthermore, special consideration shall be paid to the relationships between the EU and the United States. These topics will be dealt with in successive steps on the basis of selected texts, which should not only offer sufficient information on the most significant features of the EU, but also provide a proper basis for its understanding and critical evaluation.
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