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2.13 Economics of European Integration

Instructor: Prof. Dr. Volker Nitsch
Language of instruction:
Course type:
Subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
72 (6 per day)
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
ECTS credits
: 6
Course fee:
€ 1,650
Can be combined with all A-Track courses
  • Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

Course Description

What is today’s role of the European Union? After decades towards greater integration, economic relationships have recently become more fragile. Examples of the rise of disintegration include tendencies of secession and the exit of countries from international institutional arrangements. In view of strong interdependencies between economic actors (global supply chains), these disruptions seem to be particularly costly and may require appropriate policy responses.

This course introduces the main economic aspects of the current development of the European Union (EU) and its policies. The basic idea is to discuss general issues in economic integration with a strong emphasis on experiences in Europe. After reviewing the institutional, political and historical background of European integration, the main focus is on the economic analysis of the policies and prospects for the European Union and its economic impacts on individuals, firms and regions.

Some recent developments in the international policy agenda like sovereign debt crises, Brexit and the euro crisis will also be covered.

This course provides an introduction to economic tools and concepts useful for the analysis of European integration. More generally, students learn to apply economic theory to real-world problems.

Student Profile

The course is open to students from all disciplines.


Elementary knowledge of economics and statistics is desirable.

Required Language Skills

The language of instruction is English. Language proficiency on an advanced Intermediate level (Mittelstufe II) is a prerequisite for participation. For orientation purposes, you can assess your language skills here (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Course Requirements

Regular attendance and active participation, short research paper and final written exam.


  • 20% Class participation
  • 30% Short Paper (3-5 pages)
  • 50% Final exam


A reader will be provided at the orientation meeting.

Recommended Course Combinations (Selection)