Economics of the European Union (EU)

Course content

This is an introductory course on the economics of the European Union focusing on main economic and legal aspects of European integration as well as its policies. The course covers the historical development of the EU; regional cohesion, and competition policies; labor mobility and migration; the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); monetary unification and the impact of the single currency; the common monetary policy in the euro area; and fiscal policy within a monetary union. In addition to these topics, the course also covers recent developments in the EU including the euro crisis and the policy response to the crisis.

The course is divided into three parts. The first part will cover the historical, political and institutional foundations of European economic integration including the role of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Councils of Ministers.

The second part focuses on current issues including the euro crisis. First, we consider the micro and macroeconomic aspects of monetary integration. Starting with the theory of optimum currency areas, we analyze the economic and institutional aspects of the European Monetary Union, including the Stability and Growth Pact, Fiscal Compact and Banking Union. Then we turn to the current financial crisis in Europe focusing on the banking crises in Ireland and Spain and the Greek debt crisis. The policy responses to these crises are also discussed including the question whether these policies can resolve the crises and prevent future crises.

The third part analyzes European integration from a microeconomic perspective focusing on the effects of integration on economic growth, both at a national and a regional level. Key topics include the Common Agricultural Policy and the Rural Development and Regional Policy funded by the European Union. In addition, to these topics, we also discuss labor market policies, the European social model and flexicurity, and labor migration.


Bacheloruddannelsen i økonomi - recommended elective from the 3.year

MSc programme in Economics – elective course


Learning outcome

After completion of the course, students should be able to:


  • Describe the history of economic integration in Europe since 1973.

  • Explain and describe the main political and institutional characteristics of EU and the European Monetary Union.

  • Explain and describe the main problems in economic integration and with the main policies adopted by the EU.

  • Understand and explain theoretical and applied issues of the process of Economic and Monetary Union in the EU.

  • Understand and explain the role and distinctive features of labor markets in the EU.

  • Understand and explain the role and evolution of the common agricultural policy in EU.

  • Understand and explain the consequences of EU policy for the rest of the world.

  • Explain the role and institutional characteristics of the common monetary policy and of the national fiscal policies in the European Monetary Union.

  • Explain and describe the causes of and policies designed to resolve the euro crisis.


  • Be able to apply relevant macroeconomic models to the analysis of European integration and monetary union.

  • Be able to apply the theory of optimum currency area and apply this theory to the analysis of the European Monetary Union.

  • Be able to explain and apply economic growth theory and its relevance for the European Union.


  • Process relevant information for the analysis of European integration.

  • Carry out economic analysis related to current issues in Europe.


Baldwin, Richard and Charles Wyplosz: The Economics of European Integration, 5th edition, 2015.

Journal articles


Intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics corresponding to Micro II and Macro II or the equivalent are strongly recommended. There is no formal prerequisite in mathematics/statistics, but some of the readings will involve empirical studies and prior knowledge of empirical analysis corresponding to 'Probability theory and statistics' (Sandsynlighedsteori) and Econometrics I would therefore be an advantage.

2 hours lectures 1 to 2 times a week from week 36 to 50 (except week 42).

The overall schema for the BA 3rd year can be seen at https:/​/​​polit_ba/​undervisning/​Lektionsplan-E17/​skemaer/​Sider/​default.aspx

or the Master at https:/​/​​economics_ma/​courses/​CourseCatalogue-E17/​Courseschema/​Pages/​default.aspx

Timetable and venue:
To see the time and location of lectures and exercise classes please press the link under "Se skema" (See schedule) at the right side of this page. E means Autumn.

You can find the similar information partly in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-E17; [Name of course]””
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn – Weeks 31-5”
Press: “ View Timetable”

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
Individual exam at the computers of Copenhagen University.
The exam assignment is given in English and can be answered in English or in Danish. Language must be chosen at the course or exam registration.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
if chosen by the Head of Studies.
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.

To receive the top grade, the student must be able to demonstrate in an excellent manner that he or she has acquired and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 161
  • Exam
  • 3
  • English
  • 206