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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Anne Burrill
EURO 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Class description

EU Environment policy is widely supported by the EU citizen and the business community alike, and the vast majority of national laws in the field of environment in the EU have their origin in EU legislation. This course will examine the evolution of EU Environment policy, from its origins as ‘end-of-pipe’ regulation, through a focus on prevention, towards a mainstreaming of environmental considerations into all aspects of EU policy. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the various sectors of EU environment policy, consider what makes a successful environment policy and examine how well EU environment policy address the needs of an expanded EU in a globalised world. Each class will include a discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the EU approach to specific aspects of environment policy. The course is interdisciplinary, with a focus on how well the EU’s environment policy has projected itself into other EU policies.

Student learning goals

Understanding of the main trends and factors influencing the development of EU environment policy.

Appreciation for the interrelationship between difference sectors of EU policy, in particular how environment policy influences and is influenced by other sectoral policies.

Development of critical analytical skills through evaluating the impact and effectiveness of EU environment policy.

Enhanced ability to distill and present (orally and in writing) information and ideas about a specific area of EU environment policy.

General method of instruction

Lectures, student presentations, discussion

Recommended preparation

There are no formal prerequisites for this course. However, students who are have not taken previous courses in European Studies are strongly recommended to read through the book “The European Union: A very Short Introduction”, by John Pinder and Simon Usherwood, 2nd edition, 2007, prior to the start of the semester.

Class assignments and grading

Participation -- Students are expected to do the background reading in advance and participate actively in class discussions.

Sectoral Analyses -- Each student will prepare analytical essays (approx. 1800 - 2000 words) on two of 10 policy sectors, one each of policy areas mentioned in red (April 10 to April 24) and in blue (April 26 to May 15) in the class calendar below. These notes should summarize and critique the chosen policy areas, with a focus on how well the policies address not only the relevant technical objectives per se, but also the cross-cutting challenge of integrating environment in other EU policies (including but not limited to the policy in parentheses). Critical comparison to US policy in the same area is also encouraged. The papers should be presented orally in class on the date indicated. A signup sheet for topics/dates will be posted at the end of the first week of class, together with guidelines on how to prepare and present the essays. Late delivery of essays will not be accepted except in cases of documented emergencies – late or missing papers will receive a grade of 0.

Final exam – The exam will consist of 2 essay questions that I will chose at random (on the day of the exam) from four or five questions that will be posted on the course web site by May 15. You will not be permitted to use notes or reference materials during the exam.

The final grade in the course will be based on:

Class participation (with a focus on quality interventions that show that you have done the reading and thought about the issues!): 15%

Sectoral analyses (essays and presentations): 25% each = 50% in total

Final exam: 35%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Eva Maria M Maggi
Date: 01/31/2012