cod. 1003968

Academic year 2017/18
2° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Economia politica (SECS-P/01)
Type of training activity
63 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Competences to be developed and expected outcomes
a) Knowledge and understanding : at the end of the course the student will have a thorough understanding of the EU institutions and the way they work, of economic policies of the European Union, of the problems related to the development of the territory, of the regional policies of the European Union,of the regional database of Eurostat. The student will acquire the capacity to understand the main issues of the present debate on the European economic and political crisis
b) Applying knowledge and understanding: the student at the end of the course will be able to design a research project on the topic of regional development; to collect, process and interpret regional statistics; to make comparisons between different regions; to suggest projects of local development; to write reports and to present the results of his own work
c) Making judgments: the student will be able to understand critically the issues related to the institutional functioning of the European Union and in particular the policies of the European Union in the field of economic development and social and territorial cohesion.
d) Communication skills: the student will improve his written communication skills through the reports and the oral communication skills through the public presentations.
e) Learning skills: the student will be able to manage databases, to produce and elaborate statistics, set up tables and graphs, using statistical software for the drafting of economic reports on local economies.


Basic knowledge of economics both micro and macro. Basic knowledge of statistics. Familiarity with Excel. There are important intersections with the courses in European economy, Development economics and Cooperation and competition among firms.

Course unit content

The content of the course is as follows:
- Guide to the use of the Eurostat Regio Data Bank for the study of the regional economies
- Economic and social disequilibria in the European Union
-The theories of spatial agglomeration of economic activity
-The Europe 2020 growth strategy
- The cohesion policy of the European Union
- The policies of local economic development
- The cycle of a local economic development project
- The economic and statistical analysis of regional economies
- The design of a local development project
- Institutions of the European Union

Full programme

Cohesion policies have been implemented in the European Union since 1988 to reduce the huge economic and social disparities at regional level. These policies have acquired importance over time to become the most important item in the European Union budget. The aim of the course is twofold. The first aim is to illustrate the rationale of these policies, the way in which these policies have been implemented, the projects realized, the results achieved, the problems left unsolved. This will be done through the analysis of the theories of agglomeration, of the official EU, national and regional planning documents, the main assessments of the evaluation units and some “best practice” projects.
The second aim of the course is to train students in the design of development projects at local level. Each student, under the supervision of the teacher, will be required to carry out an economic and social analysis of an identified area, to outline a local strategy of development for that area and to suggest few key projects. The content of the course in detail is as follows:
- Institutions and policies of the European Union
- Economic and social disequilibria in the European Union
- Cohesion policy of the European Union
- Local economic development policies
- Cycle of a local development policy
- Design of a local development project


ATTENDING STUDENTS: didactic material will be delivered all along the course and made available in the website.


Topic 1: History and Institutions of the European Union

1) Michelle Cini, Nieves Perez-Solorzano Borragan, European Union Politics, Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press, 2013, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 26, 27

This book is available in the Department library

Topic 2: Cohesion policies

1. The turning points of E.U. cohesion policy, by Manzella e Mendez (downloaded in elly as Cohesion policy history))
2. Cohesion policy in the E.U.: growth, geography, and institutions, by Farole-Pose-Storper (downloaded in elly as Cohesion policy history)
3. Cohesion policy text (file word, edited by the teacher), in elly
4. European Cohesion Policy (file in PP edited by the teacher) in elly
5. Architecture of cohesion policy (file in PP edited by the teacher) in elly

Topic 3. Place-based approach

The Barca Report contains the most important elements of theoretical debate on cohesion policy. You should study rom the main report:
1. An Agenda for a reformed cohesion policy- A place based approach to meeting European Union challenges and expectations by Fabrizio Barca from pag.1 to pag. 59 (from the website)
integrated with
2. Place based approach text (file word edited by the teacher) in elly

Topic 4. European growth strategy

1) Europe 2020- A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, Communication from the Commission, 2010

This is the official document by the Commission on European growth strategy that can be downloaded from the website

Teaching methods

The Course is based on a project of innovative didactic which includes teamwork and public presentations. The distribution of hours will be approximately as follows:
- 8 hours in a Computer-Lab for the description of the Data Bank and for practice
- 30 hours of lectures for the theoretical and institutional part
- 25 hours of team work for the public presentation of the team-works
Visiting professors will be invited to deliver speeches on issues related to the present problems of the European Union

Assessment methods and criteria

The final assessment will be different for attending and non attending students. Attending students are those who follow the project work. For them attendance is compulsory.
For attending students, the final mark will be the outcome of:
a) an evaluation of the written report on the regional economy and on its public presentation in front of the class (70% of the basic mark)
b) an evaluation of the draft of the project of local development and of its public presentation, in front of the class (30% of the basic mark)
c) an evaluation of a public oral presentation on a theoretical issue. A score between -2 to + 2 will be attributed over the basic mark got in the two previous tests

Knowledge and understanding will be evaluated in the theoretical oral test, and in the design of the report and of the project of local development.

Capacity of applying knowledge and of making autonomous judgments will be evaluated in the written report on the regional economy and on the design of a local development project

Oral communication skills will be evaluated in the presentation of the report in the classroom, in the presentation of the local development project and on the theoretical discussion. Written communication skills will be evaluated in the written regional report.

For non attending students there will be a written exam with three open questions on the three main topics of the course: European Union institutions and policies; the aims and the governance of cohesion policies; the Europe 2020 strategy of growth. Time available will be 90 minutes.
The answer to these questions will assess knowledge and understanding of the issues addressed, the ability to make independent judgements and written communication skills.

Other information

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