Netherlands, Utrecht

Food Politics in the European Union

when 2 July 2018 - 13 July 2018
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 695

Food Politics in the European Union is a two week summer course that examines the challenges our food system faces and the way national and EU politics and policies seek to deal with these. This is done via a case-based approach that focuses on issues and policies relating to obesity, food safety, food security, private certification (fair and sustainable standards), the environmental impacts of foodproduction, agriculture and fisheries. The course includes two full day excursions to Brussels and farms in Middelburg respectively. Funded by the Erasmus+ program of the EU.

The two week course Food Politics in the European Union examines the most pressing problems with our food system and the way European Union policies affect these. The first two days introduce the course theme and the way the EU functions, subsequent course days use a problem based approach: We use the morning sessions to examine a specific food issue (sustainability, over-fishing, food safety, nutrition and health etc.) whilst in the afternoon session we analyze the role of EU policies and other policies in tackling these problems. A large number of guest lectures – from both academia as from practice – will help disseminate the latest insights on problems relating to food and the way EU food politics can address these. These lectures are supplemented by two excursions, one to Brussels to get first-hand knowledge on the practice of food politics and another one to different farms (from conventional to organic) in order to examine the impact that food politics have in practice. Participants can opt to take part in a final exam in order to receive a grade for the course. Course materials are made available in advance through a dedicated website that participants can use to download and/or print course materials. The 2017 edition of this course has been highly evaluated by participants (an average of 9.1 on a scale from 1-10), who mentioned 'the quality and variety of the classes and trips', 'inspiring guest lecturers' and 'coherence of the program' as strong points.

Course leader

dr Herman Lelieveldt

Target group

Advanced Bachelors

Course aim

The course aims to provide:
1) An overview of the formal design and actual functioning of the EUs core institutions including EU law and EU food law in particular.
2) A comprehensive overview of key EU policies with respect to food, such as the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy, policies to Food Security Policies food policy and food law and relevant decision-making processes at EU, national and international level.
3) A comprehensive understanding of the major issues facing consumption and production of food in the Western world with a view to human and ecological welfare.
4) The ability to analyze food policy and politics by making use of tools and insights from public policy analysis.

Credits info

4 EC
Certificate of Attendance

Two weeks of two seminars per day. First from 9:30-12:30 and second from 14:00-17:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 42 hours.

Two day-long excursions on Wednesdays: 16 hours.

Self-study: 48 hours (readings are accessible in advance of the course).

Students who want to earn a grade for the course can sign up for a written closed book exam with essay questions which will take place on Friday afternoon 13 July from 14.00-16.00 hrs.

Fee info

EUR 695: Course + course materials
EUR 1045: Course + course materials + housing


Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

Register for this course
on course website