Institut d'etudes Européennes
De l'Université libre de Bruxelles

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION (6ECTS) - Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira & François Rycx & Georges Siotis

Methods of teaching 

The course focuses on the economic and political aspects of European integration. It is organized around three modules: Macroeconomics (M. Castanheira), Microeconomics (L. Bouton), and applications to EU markets reforms (G. Siotis), and EU labour and employment policy (F. Rycx).

The course mainly builds on lectures by the four professors, but active student participation and three student interim reports will allow students to take an active part in developing the course contents. 


Learning Objectives

The students will develop sufficient knowledge of economic concepts to become literate in economics and become able to follow the main debates concerning the economy of the EU.

The objective of the course is to ensure that the successful student:

  1. understands the argument in an economic debate,
  2. can argue about key economic questions (e.g. whether to negotiate an international trade agreement),
  3. can evaluate different policy measures and their impact.


Learning Outcomes

The successful student will learn and understand key concepts such as:

  • what is an economy?
  • what is GDP? When does it grow?
  • why are public deficits or low interest rates good for the economy in some cases and bad in other cases?
  • what is the ECB, and why is the Euro changing feasible policies?
  • why and when do you want to trust markets or the government?
  • how do you finance the government?
  • how do you discipline markets?
  • how do you reduce unemployment?

as well as the economic rationale (and potential failures) behind various EU common policies.


Course requirements and grading

Students should have some familiarity with basic economic concepts. We will often build on the book “Economics of European Integration” by Richard Baldwin and Charles Wyplosz (McGraw Hill editor), and students are encouraged to read Chapters 4 and 13 before the course starts.

The evaluation of this course is based on three short reports prepared in small groups (2 or 3 students) and a written exam, which takes place in January (with the possibility of a re-take in August or September).


Academic Integrity

Students are expected to abide by all MEUS academic rules. In particular, any evidence of plagiarism or cheating will be sanctioned by a 0/20 at the exam.