Module 2: Understanding EU Policy Making

EU policy-making can be a complicated process. The aim of this module is to break down the different elements of the policy cycle so that the process becomes clear and straightforward.

This model begins by looking at the move from the former ‘pillar structure’ of the EU to the new structure after the Lisbon Treaty. It goes on to consider the balance of competences between the EU institutions and three major decision making procedures: the ordinary legislative procedure, consent and consultation.

The module will also consider the European Commission’s ‘monopoly of initiative’ as well as the notion of legal basis and its importance in the policy process. Finally, this module will address the decision making process in common foreign and security policy (CFSP).

By the end of the module, you will have built on your knowledge of the EU institutions by understanding how they cooperate to decide policy within the EU. You will understand the importance of the legal foundations of EU policy-making and you will have developed an appreciation of the different policy processes, including where each fits within the notions of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism.

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