EU Economy: Issues and Policies
EU Economy: Issues and Policies
This module is assessed on the basis of a 3000 word policy paper to a stakeholder of your choice (e.g. European Commissioner, Head of Member State) which provides a critical discussion of one of the following key issues:
? _Should (insert country name) abandon/adopt the Euro?
? _Enlargement has undermined the European Union and should be stopped.
? _The EU needs to be more protectionist if it is to survive global competition.
? _Innovation is key to successful EU competition policy.
? _Should (insert country name) leave the European Union?
? _It is a mistake to think that the free movement of labour can benefit EU member states.
? _EU policy makers ought to make sustainability their first priority.
The assessment should be written in report style, and make appropriate use of relevant material, data, charts and diagrams.
Your policy paper will be assessed on the extent to which it:
? _Provides a clear outline of the aim and focus of the policy paper;
? _Provides an in-depth consideration of the relevant themes and ideas that are pertinent to the issue under consideration;
? _Makes good use of relevant data, charts and diagrams to support the central narrative contained with the policy paper;
? _Provides a critical and analytical discussion of the relevant issues;
? _Appropriately references the arguments contained within the policy paper using a wide range of sources;
? _Provides a clear, structured and coherent review and analysis of the relevant issues.
How to approach the assignment:
The best way to approach this assignment is to imagine that you are a policy adviser who has expertise in the area of economics and the European Union. You have been commissioned by a stakeholder organisation to write a policy paper on their behalf that explores one of the policy questions outlined above. Your policy paper will form the briefing that representatives of that organisation will use to inform their discussions the next time they are participating in a key European Union summit or meeting.
A policy paper is designed to provide the policy stakeholder organisation with some advice about what view they should take on a specific policy issue. A policy paper primarily concerns the development of a policy argument which is based upon three components:
• _A policy position (i.e. what you think the policy stance of the organisation should be in relation to the policy issue under consideration);
? _Reasons for this position (i.e. what are the arguments for and against the organisation adopting this viewpoint?);
? _Next steps (i.e. what should the organisation recommend should happen next in relation to this issue?).
Let us assume that the policy issue under consideration is as follows:
Should there be restrictions on the movement of labour within the EU on economic grounds?
Let us now suppose that you have been asked by the finance minister of France to prepare a policy paper on this issue for the forthcoming Council of Ministers meeting. You will, of course, need to carry out some research. Firstly you need to find out the official legal position in relation to the EU Constitution and legislation regarding the freedom of movement of labour. Secondly you need to find out whether any Member State can impose restrictions on either the volume of labour movement, the skills profile of the migrant labour, or restrictions based on where the migrant labour’s origin. Finally, you need to read the relevant economic literature on labour movement in relation to economic productivity and the operation of economic markets – and discover if there are any economic barriers to the free movement of labour.
Having examined all of these issues, you can now construct your policy argument and write your policy paper. You decide that the finance minister of France should oppose the restriction of movement of labour within the EU on economic grounds (policy position) because it will increase economic productivity, reduce costs, and solve the imbalances in employment within certain regions or sectors of the economy (reasons for policy position) – and that France should take direct steps to (a) prevent Member States from restricting the flow of migrant labour from Eastern Europe; and (b) provide specialist programmes of support to help migrant workers settle in France (next steps)
You now have your policy argument in a concise format. Now you need to simply develop each component of your policy argument. The reasons for policy position element of the policy argument is going to form the largest component of your policy paper. Although you are trying to set out reasons and arguments for adopting the chosen policy position, you must remember that you will also need to consider and set out the arguments against your adopted policy position and why you have rejected these arguments.
It really doesn’t matter which stakeholder organisation you write your policy paper for – but obviously they should be an organisation which has an interest in the policy issue under consideration (i.e. it would look a bit odd if you wrote a policy paper on reforming the CAP which was addressed to the Defence Minister of a Member State!).
What should my policy paper look like?
The policy paper should be written in report format, and make appropriate use of sections, headings and sub-headings to set out different components of the policy argument. Your policy paper should be addressed to your chosen policy stakeholder organisation and should start off be setting out the purpose of the policy paper e.g.
This policy paper is for the attention of the Finance Minister of France, and is designed to explore whether France should support the restriction of the movement of labour within the EU.
You should make appropriate use of relevant sources and data, and you should use tables, charts, diagrams when these are the most effective way of communicating this information.
How do I know whether my policy paper has achieved its objectives?
Although it is very hard to remove yourself from a piece of assessed work that you have spent a lot of time researching and writing, the best way of testing whether your policy paper has achieved its objectives is to forget that you have written the paper and pretend you are the stakeholder organisation that the paper is written for. If you were the finance minister for France, would you have a clear understanding of (a) what was being recommended; (b) why was it being recommended; and (c) what should be done next on the basis of reading your policy paper? If the answer is yes, then your policy paper has met its objectives. If the answer is no, then you need to go back and look at the clarity of what you have written and see whether any of the sections need revising.
Finally check the assessment criteria set out for this assignment in your module handout to make sure that you have not missed anything out!
Marking criteria for the essay:
Introduction and focus of policy:
An outstanding introduction which outlines the structure of the assignment well.
Evaluation discussion and critical analysis:
An excellent section that is clear and thought out with a high level of critical analysis.
An excellent section which clearly evaluates ideas, theories and themes for the chosen policy paper.
Use of relevant charts, data and diagrams:
An outstanding section which clearly relevant data, charts and diagrams.
Presentation, structure and referencing:
An excellently presented and referenced assignment.
Reading list: ( minimum… )
The European Union: economics, policies and history – Susan Senior Nello 2012 ( key text book )
European integration: methods and economic analysis – Jacques Pelkmans 2006
The European Union: economics and policies – A. M. El-Agraa 2011
Economics of Monetary Union – Paul De Grauwe 2014%0a