One of the key objectives of the Chair is to provide cutting-edge teaching and blended learning. We are working towards the establishment of a fully online master programme on European and international governance - the first one in Belgium and one of the first in Europe. Below is an overview of the 'traditional' classroom-taught courses, as well as of the online and blended-learning courses that are being taught in the context of the EXACT Chair.



  • European Immigration Policy (6 ECTS)

This course is taught as part of the Advanced Master in European Integration programme. It examines EU policy in the field of migration and asylum. The EU policy field of migration is highly salient and sovereignty sensitive. Admission of non-citizens to the state territory used to lie at the heart of national sovereignty. Over the past 25 years, EU integration has changed this relation significantly. Borders were dismantled and free movement for EU citizens was established. Member States started co-operating on admission conditions for third country nationals, migrants as well as asylum seekers. EU member states also created the general Area of Freedom, Security and Justice with the Schengen area as an integral part of this new concept, as well as establishing the Dublin system at the heart of the Common European Asylum System. However, the recent ‘refugee crisis’ has shown that the implementation of the Schengen and Dublin agreements, the Common European Asylum System, the common immigration policies is far from consolidated. The EU and its Member States still struggle to balance competencies, functions and effectiveness of those policies. The very future of the EU integration project seems to depend on the question whether legitimate and effective cooperation can be established.

Explanations for the why and how of cooperation in this policy area cover essential questions of European studies. The policy field will be approached from a different angles, looking at institutional dynamics of decision making, the legal and policy implications and the impact of EU policies on national policies and politics.

  • Current Issues in European Politics (6 ECTS)

This course is taught as part of the Political Science Master programme of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. It focuses on the patterns and dynamics of the European integration process in uncertain times. It seeks to enhance the skills of Master students to analyse and understand some of the most important challenges the EU has faced in recent years, from the economic and financial crisis, the threat of terrorism, the Brexit-process to the migratory pressures that Europe has been facing. The course discusses these and other issues from different theoretical perspectives on European integration and governance.

The objectives of the course are as follows:

  • The students understand the challenges - and the resilience - of today’s European integration process;
  • The students learn up-to-date theoretical debates on European integration and governance;
  • The students grasp the dynamics of EU decision-making and the role of EU institutions in core fields of EU public policy.


  • EU Justice and Home Affairs (4 ECTS)

This course is taught as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in EU Policy Making programme. It provides an advanced analysis of the origins, the policy-making process and major policy issues in cooperation in the fields of justice and home affairs at the Union level. Its main aim is to equip participants with the concepts and instruments necessary for the professional analysis of this still rather new area of EU politics. The course will focus on the practice of decision-making in the Union institutions and the identification of the key factors determining the development of EU cooperation in the various policy fields covered by both Title IV TEC and Title VI TEU (“the Third Pillar”), including specific priorities and problems of individual Member States. The course will also provide an analysis of the Schengen system, the relevant provisions of the current Treaties, the state of implementation of the Hague Programme, specific problems of the enlargement process, the growing international dimension of EU justice and home affairs and the prospects offered by the new EU Treaty of Lisbon and the successor programme to the Hague programme from 2010 onwards (Programme of Stockholm).


  • Terrorism and Counter-terrorism in Europe (4 ECTS)

This course is taught as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in EU Policy Making programme. It represents the first attempt to evaluate the first 15 years of the EU counterterrorism policy from an interdisciplinary perspective. This module connects to broader policy developments in the European Union’s (EU) Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) - an umbrella term for intelligence, police and judicial cooperation, border management, asylum and migration, and counter-terrorism. This module will provide students with crucial new insights into several important aspects of the EU’s first 15 years of counter-terrorism policy. The rapid development of the AFSJ in recent years has led to an expansion of the scholarly literature on this topic (see Argomaniz, 2011; Balzacq and Carrera, 2005, 2006; Bures, 2006, 2011; Bossong, 2008; Boswell, 2003, 2007; Friedrichs, 2005; Guild, 2002; Geddes, 2000; Guiraudon, 2000; Kaunert, 2007, 2009, 2010; Mitsilegas, Monar and Rees, 2003; Occhipinti, 2003). However, with its focus on policy outputs and the role of the main EU institutions, this literature has tended to largely overlook an analysis of specific policy developments in EU counter-terrorism, with the recent exception of aforementioned literature.