Understanding Europe: Why It Matters and What It Can Offer You

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6/10 stars
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Understanding Europe: Why It Matters and What It Can Offer You

Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • TBA

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4733 reviews

Course Description

Regardless of where you live, the European Union has a large, yet often unnoticed, impact on many aspects of your everyday life. Whether you are traveling, eating, working, doing business, shopping, surfing the Internet or breathing, all these activities are largely shaped by the EU.  As a result no global citizen, business leader, lawmaker, lobbyist or student can effectively operate in Europe or in the world without a solid understanding of this unique laboratory of integration. While the EU is often depicted as a monstrous bureaucratic creature, condemned to irrelevance by the emerging economies, it remains the most accomplished experiment of economic, social and political integration in human history. In 50 years the EU accomplished what other countries took centuries to realize.

Given its inherent complexities, Understanding Europe aims at popularizing the intricacies of the European Union system to promote greater awareness of t...

Regardless of where you live, the European Union has a large, yet often unnoticed, impact on many aspects of your everyday life. Whether you are traveling, eating, working, doing business, shopping, surfing the Internet or breathing, all these activities are largely shaped by the EU.  As a result no global citizen, business leader, lawmaker, lobbyist or student can effectively operate in Europe or in the world without a solid understanding of this unique laboratory of integration. While the EU is often depicted as a monstrous bureaucratic creature, condemned to irrelevance by the emerging economies, it remains the most accomplished experiment of economic, social and political integration in human history. In 50 years the EU accomplished what other countries took centuries to realize.

Given its inherent complexities, Understanding Europe aims at popularizing the intricacies of the European Union system to promote greater awareness of the opportunities it offers you. Ultimately, you will not only better grasp the applicable framework for any European economic or social activity you engage in, but you will also participate on the EU stage. By confronting you with several current EU policy proposals, you will be able to ‘have a say’ in the EU policymaking process. We want to empower you as a citizen and business operator to maximize your rights and opportunities in today’s Europe.

Understanding Europe is structured upon some basic yet critical questions about the EU’s purpose and legitimacy : why does the EU exist? How does it work? What can it offer you? The course then analyzes the European public sphere by focusing on its main actors (the European Parliament, the Commission, the Council, the Court of Justice of the EU) and the role European citizens play in influencing Europe. We then move to the Union’s powers (what can the EU do? How far can it go? Do Members States have some instruments to “block” EU action? Can EU citizens challenge EU action?) by discussing the limits to its action and describing some of its policies. The course then analyzes the role and opportunities citizens and all stakeholders may have in shaping EU policies through public consultation, the European Citizens Initiative and other forms of participatory democracy. In a further step, we will analyze what the EU is doing for you regardless of where you are based in the world. Finally, by taking stock of what you have learned in the previous weeks, we will look at what you can do for and in Europe.

Throughout the whole course, participants will be confronted with real-life examples of EU action. EU affairs professionals will share their personal EU experiences and tell us about their EU jobs. You can interact with the instructor and other participants, share your opinions, question the instructor’s assumptions and hence shape the course’s content. 

Reviews 6/10 stars
4 Reviews for Understanding Europe: Why It Matters and What It Can Offer You

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Dennis Horne profile image
Dennis Horne profile image
5/10 starsCompleted
  • 24 reviews
  • 23 completed
5 years, 6 months ago
This course presented the complex inner workings of the European Union, its history, structure and means of governance. No prior knowledge was assumed. The subject was presented in a pro-European, evangelistic style which may irritate some students. Quite a lot was said about the advantages of the Union very little about its failings or drawbacks. In several cases in the course quizzes, the 'correct' answer expected was the Europhyllic one as opposed to a Europhobic alternative. Lacked subjective balance.
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leonard mangini profile image
leonard mangini profile image
7/10 starsCompleted
  • 39 reviews
  • 37 completed
5 years, 4 months ago
Interesting material for an American trying to fathom the byzantine EU structure. Engaging and enthusiastic lecturer. When the course is dealing with facts such as comparing and contrasting the branches of government to the US it is excellent. It is also great at providing history and the "theory" of federal and local scopes of subsidiarity etc As noted in other posts, the course glosses over as "features" rather than flaws the legitimate criticism of EU regulation that is described. For example the lecturer scoffs at anti-EU "propaganda" about the regulation of the shapes of bananas and how all the EU does is in the service of the entire regions free trade- while ignoring how the North/South political divide. Still it provides much useful information summarized into one place
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Ivo Fernandes profile image
Ivo Fernandes profile image
1/10 starsDropped
  • 15 reviews
  • 9 completed
5 years, 7 months ago
dont reach the second week, seems too basic and he is allways repeating himself...I'm european and feel like that but this course is really bad
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i S. profile image
i S. profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 14 reviews
  • 11 completed
5 years, 7 months ago
In my opinion - very good course if not excellent. It is a bit evangelistic about EU, but not in a manner that I have found to be irritant. The name of the course implies that it is about why you should matter about the EU, and I was glad that Prof reminded us that the core idea of EU is about peace and stability which is so easily overlooked nowadays. I liked the style and enthusiasm of Prof. Alberto Alemanno. He himself embodies a perfect European citizen, and that is probably what is most charming about this course. OK, maybe I am a little biased, I come from Europe (but not EU) so I was very glad to see in him the charm of old EU. We need more of that European spirit and he really is the Erasmus generation and a true European. The course was fairly easy for me because I was previously familiar with EU history and some of EU policies. My only objection is that parts of the course are maybe too technical or complex (hence, a bit bo... In my opinion - very good course if not excellent. It is a bit evangelistic about EU, but not in a manner that I have found to be irritant. The name of the course implies that it is about why you should matter about the EU, and I was glad that Prof reminded us that the core idea of EU is about peace and stability which is so easily overlooked nowadays. I liked the style and enthusiasm of Prof. Alberto Alemanno. He himself embodies a perfect European citizen, and that is probably what is most charming about this course. OK, maybe I am a little biased, I come from Europe (but not EU) so I was very glad to see in him the charm of old EU. We need more of that European spirit and he really is the Erasmus generation and a true European. The course was fairly easy for me because I was previously familiar with EU history and some of EU policies. My only objection is that parts of the course are maybe too technical or complex (hence, a bit boring) for general audience. Course has no required reading in most lectures, and videos are a treat to watch (my congrats to video production team). As a student on this MOOC you can learn most by doing and redoing quizzes. For anybody interested in EU, I warmly recommend this course
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.