The European Union Simulation: From Problem-Based Learning (PBL) to Student Interest


The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that, contrary to a commonly held view, it is possible to teach the European Union (EU) in a way that makes students enthusiastic about the subject. The paper is informed by my experience of leading a EU simulation module, based on a modified problem-based learning (PBL) approach. The idea is to share my experience and prompt a debate on (1) how the EU can be taught in exciting ways for students, and (2) how an adapted PBL approach in the form of a simulation can significantly help to deepen students’ interest in the EU as a subject.

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  1. 1.

    The first five steps constitute the ‘preliminary discussion phase’.

  2. 2.

    The module was initially developed by Thomas Christiansen, now at the European Institute for Public Administration in Maastricht.


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I would like to express my gratitude to Sarah Leonard for inspiring me to write this paper and for providing the crucial discussions and support, as well as to Jim Newell and Alaric Searle for encouraging me to complete it.

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Kaunert, C. The European Union Simulation: From Problem-Based Learning (PBL) to Student Interest. Eur Polit Sci 8, 254–265 (2009).

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  • EU
  • problem-based learning
  • teaching