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Economics of European Integration - Challenges, policies & practices in the European business environment

Tuition fee €775 per programme

Reduced tuition fee for the 2021 edition of Maastricht Online Campus due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.


The European Union started in 1951 as an attempt to prevent a new World-war in Europe. No other region has displayed similar willingness to give up important parts of national sovereignty in pursuit of a stronger global competitive positioning. The European Union keeps pressuring the integration-process at a pace which is too fast for some and too slow for others. This integration has a direct impact on the daily lives of all citizens in Europe.

The course discusses the key economic policy areas of the European Union and offers an analysis of the different approaches to regional economic integration throughout the history of the European Union. The course analyses the economic bases for the rise of the European Union from its origins in the post-World war II recovery to its historic enlargements in 2004 and 2007. The accession of the new Central and Eastern European Member-States (most recently Croatia in 2013) and Brexit, pose new challenges for the EU. Since Europe accounts for one-quarter of the global economy, half of the global trade and a substantial part of worlds capital markets, this course also looks at the impact of the European Union on other trading blocks like NAFTA. Competitiveness is the key word for globalisation and the course will focus on different forms of market–integration used inside the EU and will discuss consequences for both competition policy and industrial policy.

The theory of the economic integration process will be applied to a business setting, with a series of business cases illustrating how a variety of firms are responding strategically to the establishment of the Economic and Monetary Union, Brexit and the accession of new Member-States. Students are given advice and guidance on using case studies and how to evaluate the strategies choices made by firms. Special attention will be given to the present problems of the Euro crisis and corresponding consequences for national tax policies within the EU.

Course Duration and Dates
This course consists of 32 hours (synchronous/asynchronous) divided over 7-8 weeks.
The classes will be scheduled in Central European Time [CET] so it is possible that some time slots are not ideal for people in certain time zones. However, when scheduling the courses, we will try to take into account the different time zones as much as we can.

The number of credits earned after successfully concluding this course is the equivalent of 6 ECTS according to Maastricht University CES guidelines. For further information see the terms and conditions. Please consult with your home university or UM faculty if these credits will be accepted as part of your programme and, if necessary, converted to the credit system acknowledged by your home university.

Students who need more credits can sign up for the extended course format, which includes an Independent Study Project (ISP) worth an additional 3 ECTS. This costs €400. Please reach out to us via mail if you would like to sign up for an Independent Study Project (ISP). The maximum number of credits that can be obtained is 9 ECTS.

Course coordinator
Dr. Matt Heckman

Dr. Matt Heckman has been teaching European law and European economic integration for 33 years at various universities in the Netherlands. He studied at the University of Maastricht, the University of Lancaster and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. He holds a PhD in International and European Law and gained working experience working for the Commission of the EU. His main research interests are in the field of intellectual property law and competition policy. His PhD-dissertation discussed the strategic use of patents in standardization in relation to US, European and Chinese competition law. He was Director of International Affairs for 14 years at a Dutch University and is currently teaching at various graduate programs (both MBA and MSc) in the Netherlands, Finland, UK and the USA. Matt is also member of a research team at TSI ESADE Barcelona.

By the end of the course students will demonstrate the ability to:
Learning objectives
▪ Understand the economic and political logic behind the EU integration
▪ Review the EU’s legal system and main legal principles guiding the economic integration, and describe the legislative processes
▪ Understand the economic framework of the decision-making inside the EU
▪ Understand the various forms of market-integration in-depth
▪ Understand the choice and benefits of the Economic and Monetary Union-concept

Skill development
▪ Address the current challenges facing the EU, including the accession of new Member-States
▪ Apply their knowledge and skills in the area of business strategy to the issues facing firms operating in the European Union
▪ Evaluate the consequences of European economic integration and global competition at a firm level.

Understanding of basic micro- and macro economic principles. Preferably understanding of international economic relations. A minimum of 10 students is required for the class to take place.

Recommended literature
Students use the following book:

The Economics of European Integration, by Richard Baldwin & Charles Wyplosz (Fifth edition) as well as a number of articles, case studies, EU treaties and relevant websites.

Teaching methods
Lecture(s) ▪ Presentation(s) ▪ Group Work

Assessment methods
Attendance ▪ Participation ▪ Written exam
For the extra 3 ECTS: paper (Individual project).

Apply now! Spring semester MOC 2021
Application deadline
Feb 15, 2021 23:59:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Apr 5, 2021

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Spring semester MOC 2021
Application deadline
Feb 15, 2021 23:59:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Apr 5, 2021

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States