EU government and tourism

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EU government, politics, and policy for tourism management students
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Aims and scope: 

Tourism employs 12 million people in Europe (more than 5% of employment), and inbound tourism contributes with 356 billion euro in revenue to the European economy. Government policy in general and EU policy in particular can greatly affect tourism. Reduced VAT rates for food, Schengen visa requirements, the regulation of flight delays, the abolition of roaming charges, the regulation of Uber and Airbnb, or the Erasmus+ programme, are just a few examples of how EU policy can affect the tourism sector. The tourism industry is well aware of this and tries to influence legislation, executive, and judicial decisions, in a number of ways, from elections to lobbying campaigns. For such attempts to be successful, it is essential to have a scientific understanding of how the EU political system works.

This course offers a general introduction to EU government, politics, and policy for graduate students of tourism management. It starts by offering a broad overview of what the EU does in the fields of economic, social and foreign policy, with special attention to the impact of those policies on tourism. It goes on to study how those policies are made by analysing EU institutions and policy making procedures in the legislative, executive and judicial realm. Finally, it analyses public opinion towards the EU and how citizens, firms, and other interested actors try to influence EU decisions by means of lobbying and elections. A concluding section analyses the EU's future and reform as well as current trends and policy priorities in EU tourism policy. Examples and discussions are selected to be of special relevance for students of tourism management.


The course will consist of a combination of online lectures and seminars. Online quizzes and discussion questions will allow students to develop their empirical, analytical and critical understanding of the EU.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is an approach for learning content through an additional language (foreign or second), thus learning both the subject and the language simultaneously. This approach to teaching and learning has never featured as strongly on university curricula as it does now. Besides, the great revolution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has had a tremendous impact on education. For the development of foreign language communication skills in particular, ICT is an ideal platform for developing interactive strategies and methodologies that promote independent learning, peer interaction, and language use for real communicative purposes. In a world where broadband connections and mobile-data enabled smartphones are widespread, and where students are digital natives, there is great potential for combining CLIL with ICT. If we add to this the opportunities that international university partnerships and networks offer for student interaction across borders, we have all the necessary ingredients for a successful course.

1. What is the EU and what's in it for us? 2. The single market and other efficiency policies: competition, transport, environment. 3. The euro and Economic and Monetary Union. 4. The budget and redistributive policies: common agricultural policy, regional and social policy. 5. Freedom of mobility of people. 6. Foreign policies: common commercial policy, development policy, immigration. 7. Legislative politics: agendas and vetoes. 8. Executive and judcial politics: principals and agents. 9. Public opinion and elections. 10. Interest representation and lobbying. 11. The future of the EU: Brexit and reform. 12. Tourism trends and EU policy priorities, seamless transport, the sharing economy, sustainability, inclusion.
Indicative reading: 

 S. Hix and B. Høyland, The political system of the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011; OCDE (2016). OECD Tourism trends and policies 2016. OECD Publishing. OCDE (2018). OECD Tourism trends and policies 2018. OECD Publishing.

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