Economics of European Integration

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Economics
  • Application code SS-EC235
  • Starting 2022
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The economic and political integration of Europe has been one of the most important, impactful, controversial, and misunderstood processes of the past 100 years. European leaders such as Churchill, Adenauer, de Gaulle, and Schuman have seen integration as a means to achieve both peaceful unity and economic success. Their work developed into the European Union (EU) and the increased social, economic and political interdependence of member states. Yet others, including many populist politicians, claim that integration has increased bureaucracy, led to rent-seeking behaviour, and diverted attention from high growth markets elsewhere.

This course introduces the main economic aspects of the current development of the EU and its policies. Covering the process of European Integration and its economic impacts on individuals, firms and regions you will analyse the economic opportunities and challenges generated by EU integration. Engaging in discussion with leading faculty, you will assess current EU policies and their ability to support the process of economic integration as well as their ability to mitigate potential economic side-effects.

The course will also consider efforts to reform the European Union economy after the Covid-19 pandemic, and how the Recovery Plan and Next Generation EU are reshaping the entire EU policy landscape towards a common purpose: a digital, green and inclusive recovery from Covid-19. This will offer the opportunity to reflect on lessons from 50 years of EU policies in order to inform and shape new evidence-based interventions in other parts of the world.

While the course will retain a focus on economic analysis, it will also allow you to broaden your understanding of the EU by examining its institutional, political and historical legacy. By the end of the course you will have developed the critical thinking skills to understand and interpret the significance of important events such as the economics of Brexit, the rise of populism, the recovery from Covid-19 and their impact on the current economic and social landscape and how they will affect future policy decisions.

Session: One - CLOSED
Dates: 20 June - 8 July 2022
Lecturers: Professor Riccardo Crescenzi and Professor Neil Lee


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: Two written examinations

Typical credit*: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional but may be required for credit by your home institution. Your home institution will be able to advise how you can meet their credit requirements.

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


Introductory microeconomics (to the equivalent of EC101) and macroeconomics (to the equivalent of EC102). Elementary statistics and mathematics are also desirable.

Key topics

  • Economic integration, trade and the single market

  • Economic growth and EU micro-policies

  • Labour markets, migration and European integration

  • Economic union and political crisis

  • The future of European integration

  • Europe 2020 and Smart Growth Agenda

  • The European Monetary Union (EMU)

  • Monetary policy in the EU and the Euro

  • The impact of the economic crisis and Brexit

  • Innovation and technological development in the EU

  • The geography of EU income and unemployment disparities: comparing the EU with the US, China and India

Programme structure and assessment

This course is delivered as a combination of lectures, class discussions and readings. Due to the highly topical nature of the course, students are expected to engage with the material provided in class to contribute meaningfully to class discussions.

The course is assessed through two examinations: one mid-session examination (50%) and a final examination (50%). Students will also be asked to participate in in-class presentations during the course which will help them prepare for the examinations and allow them to receive feedback from faculty.

Further details will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Course outcomes

  • Understand the historical, political and institutional foundations of European (economic) Integration

  • Analyse the role of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers

  • Interpret the dynamics of economic integration and preferential trade agreements within the EU and the rest of the world

  • Analyse the link between European Integration and Economic Growth at the European, national and regional level with specific focus on key sectorial and development policies

  • Investigate the economics of European labour markets in comparison to other countries

  • Debate the benefits and costs of monetary union and the wider political implications of integration

Is this course right for you?

This course is highly relevant if you are interested in expanding your knowledge of the EU and its economics. It is also useful if you are a policy maker or executive wanting to know more about the opportunities offered by the EU, its markets and institutions. If you are targeting a role in government, research, policy development or consulting you should consider this course. 

Your department

LSE’s Department of Geography and Environment is a centre of international academic excellence in economic, urban and development geography, environmental social science and climate change. The department ranked 2nd in the world in its field in the 2020 QS World University Rankings.

The Department’s courses are designed to benefit from, and complement, the strengths and aspirations of LSE. Students will learn from world-leading academics within the Department who have well-established international reputations. Engaging with cutting-edge research, students will learn how the department contributes to important international policy issues.

Your faculty

Professor Riccardo Crescenzi
Professor of Economic Geography
Department of Geography and Environment

Professor Neil Lee
Professor of Economic Geography
Department of Geography and Environment

Reading materials

R. Baldwin, and C. Wyplosz, The Economics of European Integration, 6th edition, 2019, McGraw Hill.

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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