What is the European Union? Which are its core institutions and how do they work? What is the scope of its directives and programs, and how do they fit in with the member-states’ policies? What is the role of the EU as an international actor? This course on Special Topics in European Studies aims at answering all these questions. The course will start with an introduction to integration in Europe, the development of the EU, and some theories and approaches to its study. It will then review the main political, economic, and judiciary institutions in the EU. Last, it will examine some important policy areas and challenges at the European level, including migration and asylum, social cohesion, counterterrorist initiatives, scenarios after Brexit, relations between the EU and its neighbours, and foreign policy. Special care will be given to explaining the political interaction between the EU institutions and the member-states, on the one hand, and the EU’s Directives and policy frameworks and the members’ policies, on the other hand.