European Union policies
This course will introduce you to what the European Union does in the different policy fields, from economic policy (single market, EMU) to social policy (citizenship, agriculture, cohesion), and foreign policy (trade, development, CFSP). It will also introduce you to the economic and political analysis of EU policies, and help you to develop general skills that will serve you as foundations for higher degrees or to transfer them directly into non-academic careers. Seminar questions and discussions will encourage you to develop practical skills such the ability to research independently, to provide and receive peer review, and to discuss in order to elucidate an issue.
More specifically, the learning objectives are three-fold: 1. DESCRIPTIVE/EMPIRICAL: To provide a detailed account of what the EU does in the different policy fields, from the single market and other economic policies to social and foreign policies, and the central issues in contemporary EU policy. 2. THEORETICAL/ANALYTICAL: To locate this empirical information within the student’s understanding and use of positive theoretical explanations in economics and political science. Among other things, these positive theories help us explain: Why is it so difficult to keep inflation at a desirable level for all Euro-zone members? Why do so many member states have excessive deficits? Why is food more expensive in the EU than in the US? Why does EU regional policy have so many objectives? Why does the EU own resource system have so many correction mechanisms? Why does the EU social fund give post-doctoral scholarships in countries with high poverty levels? Why are EU trade agreements more difficult to implement than protectionist measures? Why is it so difficult to agree economic sanctions on foreign countries? 3. CRITICAL/NORMATIVE: To develop a critical/normative approach to many of the questions facing Europe’s leaders and citizens in the next decade. E.g. Should Romania join the Eurozone? Should the stability and Growth Pact be made stricter or more flexible? Is East-West labour migration a good thing? Is EU competition policy too restrictive on European champions? Should the EU further expand to countries such as Ukraine or Moldova? Should there be a true EU army?
The key to unlock this course is double. First, EU policies affect citizens differently across social groups and territories, which generates differences in preferences for EU policies. Secondly, those differences are resolved in the framework of the current institutional system of the EU. Only after analysing both differences in preferences and the rules of the game of policy-making will we be able to understand EU policy outcomes.
1. Scientific Europeanism: the European Union and the scientific method. 2. Institutions and decision-making. 3. The single market: theory, practice and economic impact. 4. Social policy: from labour mobility to European citizenship. 5. Economic and Monetary Union: theory, evolution and functioning. 6. Single market policies: competition, industrial and competitiveness policy, fiscal harmonization, transport, energy, environment, fisheries. 7. The EU budget. 8. The Common Agricultural Policy: theory, practice and impact. 9. Regional policy: theory, practice and impact. 10. Internal policies: immigration, asylum, Schengen, citizenship, justice. 11. External relations and international affairs: foreign trade policy, development policy, common foreign and security policy. 12. Enlargement and contraction: theory, evolution, Brexit.
El-Agraa, A. (2015) The European Union Illuminated: Its Nature, Importance and Future. Palgrave Macmillan. Chapters 4-6; El-Agraa, A.M. (2011) The European Union: economics and policies, Ninth edition. Cambridge University Press. Chapters 6-25; European Parliament EU Fact Sheets; Hix, S. and B. Hoyland (2011) The Political System of the European Union, 3rd edition. Palgrave Macmillan. Chapters 8-12; Wallace, H., M.A. Pollack, and A.R. Young (eds) (2014) Policy-Making in the European Union, Seventh edition. Oxford University Press; Artis, M., and Nixson, F. (2007) The Economics of the European Union: Policy and Analysis. Oxford University Press.