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External Economic Relations


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master EUS.

Course objectives

The aim of the course is to introduce the students to the international economic environment and the international economic policy of the EU.
To that end, after a discussion of the phenomenon of globalisation and some basic features of the world economy of today, the rules governing the world economy, and especially the multilateral trade system of the WTO, are presented. Additionally, the recent proliferation of regional and bilateral trade agreements is studied. Subsequently, the external economic competences of the EU and the main features of the common EU trade policy are dealt with, as well as the relation between the EU and the WTO.
The course further elaborates on the developments in the WTO since its creation in 1995, and more especially the results of the various Ministerial Conferences, and the position of the EU in these negotiations. In this framework, attention is also given to the role of lobbying in trade policy.
After the course, the students will have aquired a good understanding of the basic concepts of the EU external economic policy and of the international economic and policy environment in which it is embedded. Furthermore, they will have gained experience of studying one specific trade policy issue more in depth in the framework of their essay. This knowledge should help qualify them for a job e.g in internationally oriented business, the national administration or an international organisation.



Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Essay and presentation.


Yes, see the site.

Reading list

On globalisation:

  • Stiglitz, Joseph (2006), Making globalization work, Norton, New York.

On rules for the world economy

  • Molle, Willem (2003), Global Economic Institutions, Routledge, London

  • Qureshi, Asif and Ziegler, Andreas (2007), International Economic Law.

On the WTO:

  • Barton, John and others (2006), The evolution of the trade regime, Princeton University Press.

  • Hoekman, Bernard and Kostecki, Michel (2009): The political economy of the world trading system; Oxford University Press, Oxford.

  • Bernard Hoekman/Aaditya Mattoo/Philip English e.o.: Development, trade, and the WTO; a handbook; World Bank, 2002

  • Narlikar, Amrita (2005), The world trade organisation; a very short introduction, Oxford University Press.

On regionalism:

  • Glania, G. and Matthes, J. (2005), Multilateralism of regionalism, Trade policy options for the European Union, CEPS, Brussels.

On EU Trade policy:

  • Eeckhout, Piet (2004), External relations of the EU; legal and constitutional foundations, Oxford EC Law Library. (Good for a general understanding of the legal aspects, but outdated since Treaty of Lisbon)

  • Sapir, André: Fragmented power; Europe and the global economy, Brueghel, Brussels.

On trade policy lobbying:

  • Shaffer, Gregory (2003), Defending interests; public private partnerships in WTO litigation, Brookings Institution Press, Washington DC.

Useful websites

  • (NGO-site on bilateral trade negotiations)

  • (Brookings Institution)

  • (Brussels economic think tank)

  • (centre d’etudes prospectives et d’informations internationales)

  • US National Intelligence Council


  • European Council on Foreign Relations

  • (European Commission)

  • (Financial Times)


  • Global Trade Alert


  • Peterson Institute of International Economics

  • International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

  • (Journal of World Trade)


  • (‘search’ and then type ‘scenarios’)


  • Johns Hopkins University, Centre Transatlantic Relations


  • (World Economic Forum)




  • (see also wto bookshop)


Via uSis.
See also Registration and admission requirements for the Master EUS.

Contact information

Dhr Mr. W.L.E. Quaedvlieg