The political economy of European integration

Name minor: The political economy of European integration
Code: RMIN11
Teaching language: English
Programme which has the coordinating role for this minor:
Erasmus school of law; Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics (Jean Monnet Chair of Economic Analysis of European Law)
Other programmes which are contributing to the minor: Not applicable; broadening minor
Access: See toelatingsmatrix


‘I have always been interested in politics and international dynamics, as well as the EU. I would recommend this course to anyone who wishes to learn more about the history, workings and mechanisms of the EU. Moreover, the course is structured, the essay allows one to choose a subject and dig deeper into it and the trip to Brussels has been the absolute highlight of the course!’

Pauline van der VaerenRotterdam School of Management

‘The strongest feature of the course is the combination of Economics, Law, and Politics comprehensively altogether. Students who aspire to specialize in Political Economy, International Trade and Public policy, or simply wish to broaden their knowledge about the EU should definitely do this minor!’

Alya SatriawanErasmus School of Economics

The effects of European Integration can be felt everywhere. At the supermarket you can buy food from other European Union countries and the Bologna process led to a harmonization of academic degrees in Europe, making it easier for students to study at universities in different countries. The Erasmus programme for example allows thousands of students to go abroad each year and explore both cultural and educational differences. Furthermore, recent events such as the Brexit have highlighted the political relevance of European Integration.

 The Political Economy of European Integration course will examine practical and theoretical issues and questions concerning European Integration and will touch upon legal and economic implications of the European system we all live in: What is the political background of European Integration? How does it affect us in daily life? Is it possible to preserve a country’s specificities, like culture or social security, while at the same time benefitting from more economic exchange?

 See for further information:

Learning objectives:

This broadening minor aims at students from all EUR faculties as well as interested students from other Dutch universities. The learning goals are threefold:

  1. Getting a principal understanding of economic integration. This implies a basic understanding of international trade and federalism. But also the interrelation between the political process and economic integration will be discussed.
  2. The historical and legal background of European integration will be presented. The students will be acquainted with the constitutional principles of the EU as well as specific sector policies (e.g. competition policy and agricultural policy).
  3. From the viewpoint of their own academic background and experience, the students shall write a short research paper on a European integration issue.

Specific characteristics:

This course is highly recommended for those who will desire to pursue a Master in European studies. This course will be taught in English and will consist of three consecutive modules which build on each other. No special skills are required.

Mixed Teaching Methods

This minor will consist of mixed-method teachings where interactive lectures and practical skills/cases are a part of the curriculum.

Brussels Trip

It is planned as the years before to visit different European institutions such as the Commission, the European Parliament, NGOs and lobby groups.


Maximum number of students that can participate: 60
Minimum number of students that can participate:
not applicable

Contact hours: 45  

Overview modules:


  • ECTS:  5
  • Content: The module aims at introducing European integration as a multidisciplinary field of research (law, economics, political science, sociology). At the beginning, the students need to develop a structured inventory of subject areas where European integration issues play a role. This will make clear that European integration issues play an important part in nearly every aspect of life and work in Europe. It will then be shown qualitatively and quantitatively what impact European integration already has. The students will learn basic economic concepts for the study of European integration, and these concepts will be presented in a way that is accessible for students of all disciplines. The teaching content comprises an understanding of economic exchange and economic welfare and its transfer to international trade.
  • Teaching method: Lecture with interactive elements.
  • Teaching materials: A syllabus and materials will be distributed.
  • Contact hours: 15


  • ECTS:  5
  • Content: Political economy is meant here as an economic perspective that systematically takes into account the relevance of political and legal factors for economic analysis. Federalism will be introduced as a means and a concept to respect local preferences and to fix local problems. The concept of regulatory competition will be introduced at a basic level. The economic theory of democracy and bureaucracy will be applied to the European Union. The basic idea of the monetary union (Euro) will be explained and the importance of financial regulation will be highlighted. The impact of the recent financial crisis on the European Union and its member states will be included.
  • Teaching method: Lecture with interactive elements.
  • Teaching materials: A syllabus and materials will be distributed.
  • Contact hours: 15


  • ECTS:  5
  • Content: The aim of this module is to deepen the students’ understanding of European integration by applying their gained knowledge to specific fields, which may be related to their main studies (e.g. law, history, management, or political science). At the end of the module, each student will come up with a research paper on his or her topic. In the first session of the module, working groups will be set up. In the working groups the students will discuss and elaborate on the research paper. For each working group 4 contact hours are reserved, during which the students are guided towards their research paper.
  • Teaching method: Small working groups of students will be formed for drafting a short research paper.
  • Teaching materials: A syllabus and materials will be distributed.
  • Contact hours: 15


Method of examination:

Each module has a separate exam. Module 1 and 2 will be a written exam with open questions. Module 3 will be a graded research paper.

Composition of final grade:

This minor will have been passed successfully if two courses have been passed and the average grade of all the courses is not below 5.5. Every module counts equally. Attendance to the lectures is compulsory.

Feedback method:

Students may consult the Jean Monnet Chair of Economic Analysis of European Law for making an appointment. Oral comments on the research paper are given at the working groups.

Contact information

Contact person:

Prof. Dr. Klaus Heine

Phone: 010-4082691

Room: Bayle Building, Office J6-59


Faculty website:

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