Political Economy of European Union Enlargement

Second year module

Lecturer: TBC

In 2004 and 2007, 12 new Member States joined the European Union (EU). These recent enlargements are the most ambitious in the history of the EU not only in terms of numbers of new members but also regarding the level of socio-economic disparities between old and new members. Negotiations for membership of further countries are going on. After 2010 the number of EU countries might well reach 30.  EU enlargement has a direct impact on decision making in the EU and on EU policies. In addition, EU membership affects domestic politics in the new Member States. Moreover, there is an indirect influence on countries remaining outside of the EU. Some of these countries are still on their way to fully-fledged market economies and smoothly functioning democracies. The role of an enlarged EU as an external anchor of reforms might be a different one. Apart from these political and institutional consequences EU enlargement also has economic consequences in that the volume and the structure of trade and capital flows are affected.  The course discusses and analyses these issues from a political economic perspective.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • Analyse negotiations for a given institutional set-up 
  • Evaluate costs and benefits of EU enlargement especially arising from trade in goods and services as well as from migration 
  • Assess the impact of enlargement on the old and new EU member states 


  • Term One/Two: Presentation (10%)
  • Term One: 3000 words assessed work (50%) 
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (40%)