Economic Integration in the EU - EC544

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) PROF SM Davidova


EC500 Microeconomics and EC502 Macroeconomics (or equivalent)





The European Union features strongly in all discussions of economic policy and political decision making, in particular in view of Brexit. The UK referendum has exemplified the strongly polarised and politicised opinions on the EU, its policies and regulations. Frequently economists are unable to provide a consistent analytical framework for the analysis of the various issues posed, but at the same time the demand for economists trained on the issues related to the EU – e.g. customs Union and Single Market - is growing. In this module we shall explore the meaning and analysis of regional economic integration in the context of the EU. This will provide a general introduction to the economic rationale for the existence of the EU, the working of some of its main policy areas, and a critique and assessment of the developments to date. Since this module involves issues of importance concerning the debate about Brexit and its consequences for the UK and the EU, we will cover studies about the potential consequences of various post-Brexit policies and will discuss options for post-Brexit trade and migration.

At the end of this module you will be expected to have knowledge of the basic theories underlying customs union and economic and monetary union, and of the rationale for, and strengths and weaknesses of, policy intervention at EU level.

This is a module in Applied Economics and the emphasis throughout is on the development of appropriate economic theories and their application in the specific context of the regional integration in Europe. It is not concerned with the detailed discussion of the Treaties or the implementation of policy measures. Decision-making in the EU is introduced in order to understand the question of the exercise of economic power and one of the main arguments used by the Leave campaign in the UK. The nature of the economic integration is such that this module involves a broad coverage of both microeconomics and macroeconomics, often involving applied issues and applied analysis going beyond that covered in the main theory courses.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

11 lectures
6 seminar classes

Method of assessment

10% In Course Test
10% Essay (2500 words)
80% Examination (2 hours)

Preliminary reading

R Baldwin and C Wyplosz, The Economics of European Integration, (5th ed), McGraw-Hill, 2015
Susan Senior Nello, The European Union: Economics, Policies and History, 2nd ed 2009 or 3rd ed 2011, McGraw Hill,

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, you will:
• have an understanding of the underlying theory of economic integration and its regional aspects in Europe
• have an understanding of the factors leading to increasing integration, including customs union theories, new trade theories and the role of imperfect competition for industry restructuring, the optimum currency area and the EURO, and be able to make an assessment of the impacts of future changes
• have knowledge of trends in trade, migration, competition and relevant policies
• have improved learning and writing skills from assignments and improved communication skills from seminar discussion and debate
• have acquired analytical skills, enabling the identification of appropriate theoretical concepts to analyse the effects of economic integration.

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.