Minor The Political Economy of European Integration

Broadening minor


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 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 EU countries and the Bologna process led to a harmonization of academic degrees, making it easier for students to study at different universities in the EU. The Erasmus programme for example allows many students to go abroad and explore both cultural and educational differences. Furthermore, recent events such as the Brexit have highlighted the political relevance of European Integration.

This course therefore examines practical and theoretical issues concerning European Integration and touches upon legal and economic implications of the European Union: 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?

This course includes:

  • A trip to Brussels to visit the European institutions and meet EU decision makers
  • Different lecturers giving insights in their specific field of expertise

Learning objectives

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 term paper on a European integration issue.

Special aspects

This course is highly recommended for those who will desire to pursue a Master in European studies. This course will be taught in English. No special skills are required.

The lecture attendance in this Minor is compulsory. As of this year specific arrangements for part-time students are possible.

Term paper
For the third module, small working groups of students will be formed for drafting an individual short term paper. 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. medicine, management, or law).

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

Overview content

Module 1: European Integration as a multidisciplinary field of research
The module aims at introducing European integration as a multidisciplinary field of research (law, economics, political science, sociology). The students will develop a structured inventory of subject areas where European integration issues play a role and will learn basic economic concepts for the study of European integration.

Module 2: Political economy of European integration
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.

Module 3: European integration in the field
At the end of this module students will draft an individual short term paper. In the first session of the module, working groups will be set up where students can discuss and elaborate on their research paper.

Teaching methods

This minor will consist of mixed-method teachings where interactive lectures and practical skills/cases are a part of the curriculum. In addition, the students will get guidance to write a short term paper and learn to interact with political leaders in Brussels.

Teaching materials

At the start of the course, a syllabus and materials will be distributed. However, the distributed materials are only suggestions of literature that could be used during this course. It will be expected from you to consult multiple sources on each topic. This is essential, because when using a single source, representation of the substance often will be too poor. Multiple sources enrich the representation of the course material, and thus help you better understand the content. There will be no costs for students.

Slides will be provided before the according lessons.


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 term paper.

Composition final grade
The Minor is passed successfully if two modules have been passed and the average grade of all the three modules is not below 5.5. Every module counts equally.

Students may consult the Jean Monnet Chair of Economic Analysis of European Law website (www.klausheine.eu) for making an appointment. Oral comments on the term paper are given at the working groups.


Please read the application procedure for more information. 

Contact information

Alberto Quintavalla
+31 10 4082186
room: L7-29A

Faculty website

Broadening minor
Erasmus School of Law
Studiepunten (ECTS)
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam