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Course 2021-2022 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLEAM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/02)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Suggested background knowledge

Students should be familiar with the basics of macroeconomics.

Mission & Content Summary

With 20 per cent of the world GDP, a unified market of around 500 million inhabitants, and the second most diffused currency in the world, the euro, the European Union is a key player in international markets. Understanding the origin, rationale and evolution of its policies is thus of paramount importance in order to design optimal corporate strategies for those firms operating in, or dealing with, the EU markets, as well as to assess the evolution of its Member States.

  • The first part of the course explores the economic and policy aspects of the process of European integration, analysing the economic consequences of trade liberalization (customs unions, free trade areas), the liberalization of capital flows (Single market), and the co-ordination of economic policies (economic union). The policy elements behind this evolution (trade policy, competition policy) are analysed in parallel.
  • The course then moves on in studying the main expenditure policies currently undertaken by the European Union (agriculture, cohesion), as developed via the EU budget.
  • The final part of the course is devoted to the analysis of the Economic and Monetary Union, from its setup and working as enshrined in the Maastricht Treaty, to its latest developments.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand how the international trading systems works, and the role the EU plays v.s. other countries (US, China,...).
  • Have a thorough knowledge of the working of the main policies shaping the EU markets (agriculture, competition, cohesion).
  • Understand the evolution of monetary and fiscal policies across the euro area.
  • Understand the response of the EU to the Covid-19 shock, and its implications for the future of the EU integration process.
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Assess the main drivers of the business environment in which firms operate when dealing with the European markets.
  • Design appropriate company strategies in order to successfully operate in the EU market.
  • Compare policies across EU member states.
  • Understand how the EU is evolving in light of the Covid-19 shock

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Guest speakers from EU Institutions visit the class to give keynote speeches on relevant topics of the course.
  • A number of organized class discussions on hot topics in the current policy debate (eg Brexit) are organized in class, preparing them in advanced through a selected reading list.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •   x  

    Partial written exams plus group assignment:

    • A first partial written exam is worth 40% of final marks, with MC questions, and it is aimed at testing your understanding of how the international trading systems works, and the role the EU plays vs. other countries (US, China,...).
    • A group assignment, worth 30% of final marks, allows you to explore in detail one of the current relevant policy issues currently discussed across EU, and its implications for civic society.
    • A second partial exam covers the remaining topics of the course (not covered in the first partial and in the assignment). It is worth 30% of final marks and it is structured with MC questions. 


    The exam can be undertaken also as a general exam on the entirety of the course programme, through MC questions.

    Teaching materials
    • In order to provide updated materials for a fast evolving subject as the process of European integration, the main materials of the course are provided via lecture notes (slides) uploaded on the course webpage.
    • Companion materials can be found in a special book titled 'European Economic Policy' and created specifically for this course by McGraw Hill, by integrating materials of other existing textbooks. The textbook can be purchased in hard copy from the EGEA bookshop.
    Last change 18/01/2022 17:19