Assessment details

The coursework will consist of one essay answer to a given question, requiring some independent research to produce a coherently written and properly referenced academic essay. It will also assess other learning outcomes as identified in Module Aims below, as is appropriate to the specific question answered.

The coursework will comprise an individual 1250-words essay , which must be submitted no later than 5pm on 13th June 2012. Students are required to submit an electronic version of their essay to Turnitin (details on how to submit will be provided on StudyNet).


Standard rules and penalties apply for late submissions.  Extensions will need to be requested well in advance of the deadline and will only be granted where exceptional circumstances affect completion of work. In all cases documentary evidence of medical conditions etc. will be required.


There is one question, which students choose to discuss and provide reasoned arguments:


“To what extent are the Eastern European countries catching up with the rest of Europe?”


Detailed guidelines on how to write an essay can be found on Studynet under Teaching Resources. For additional help, Students are advised to use the ASU Guides, for example: Essay Writing, Academic Writing Style, Critical Evaluation, Harvard Referencing.


Schedule of lectures and tutorials


  Lecture/Workshop Tutorial
  Outline of the Module


No Tutorial
  Theory of Integration


Introductory tutorial
  History of EU integration



Theory of Integration


  European Union



History of EU integration


  European Economies


European Union


  Market Integration


European Economies


  Reading week Reading week
  Labour and Capital movement


Market Integration


  Monetary Union


Labour and Capital movement


  EU policies


Monetary Union


  Revision Session I


EU policies




  Revision Session II


Revision Tutorial



Core text book


The general text for this module is:


Baldwin and Wyplosz The Economics of European Integration  McGraw Hill  – preferably some of the newer editions


Any other book, which deals with European Integration or European Economics will also be helpful. Here are some examples:

Susan Senior Nello (2009) European Union: History, Economics and Policies, McGraw Hill    2nd edition

Willem Molle   (2006) The Economics of European Integration, 5th edition, Ashgate


Other possible titles:

The European Economy since 1945- Eichengreen

European economic and political issues- Stickle

Political Economy of Eur. Integration- Jones

Ever closer union- Dinan

European econ. Integration- Mcdonald, Dearden

Understanding the European union- Nicob

European union politics- McCormick

European union Politics- Cilmi

The European Union – Pinder and Usherwood

European Integration – Pelkmans



Essay (adapted from the Guide to Essay writing-ASU)

An essay is generally written as one flowing document that uses paragraphs to separate ideas, without the section headings, underlining, numbering and bullet points that are used in reports.


Essays have 4 vital sections: Introduction, Main Body, Conclusion and References/Bibliography. The word count applies to three essay sections, NOT including the References or Bibliography.


The introduction

This helps set the context-structure for the essay. It introduces the main ideas of the essay and draws the reader into the subject. It tells readers what to expect. The Introduction outlines the main issues on which you intend to focus and others you just intend to mention. It defines any terms or concepts that you need and acknowledges possible issues raised by the question and explains your approach.  It may act as an overview in summarising the issues to show an understanding of the exact question. It is often about 10% of the length of the essay.


The main body

The main section of the work should be organised into paragraphs which present the facts and develop the arguments. The structure will depend upon what you intend to do, e.g. compare and contrast, analyse, critically evaluate, explain, etc. Address the exact task and focus on the topic. It is this difference that gives work better grades.


Decide on your main points. Organise these points in appropriate paragraphs to build your work in a series of logical steps to suit the essay’s length, complexity and purpose. Paragraphs group related sentences to develop each main idea, making it easier to follow your points. In each paragraph include PEEELPoint, Evidence, Example, Explain, Link. Paragraphs need a key Point which is often the first sentence. Define your point, clearly and concisely. Then include supporting Evidence, quote definitions, refer to facts, and other people’s theories that relate to the same point. Apply relevant Examples to clarify. Explain the relevance to the main point in following sentences. Often paragraphs have four to eight sentences that show your evidence and comments upon it. Make sure paragraphs Link with preceding or subsequent content and use signposts and linking expressions frequently. Remember to keep linking to the essay title.


So paragraphs share characteristics (UCOD). All the sentences in a paragraph have Unity as they should relate to the same point/ topic. Each paragraph should be Coherent, containing sentences in logical order, with linking words helping to make transitions between sentences. The Order of information should be clear, whether it is chronological or by order of importance. Paragraphs can be Developed by using examples, comparison, contrast, statistics, definitions, analysis or a combination of these, depending on the purpose of writing or the subject matter. Always check that you define (before you develop) important ideas/ concepts used in your work. Avoid long and rambling sentences and paragraphs. Consider the length of each paragraph and if the points could be more clearly expressed and if separate paragraphs are needed.


Write as concisely as possible. Remember KISS; Keep It Short and Simple to make your meanings clear.

Use ASU Guide to Academic Style to check Business School requirements, which generally avoid using slang, informality and personal pronouns like ‘I’ or ‘We’ or ‘You’.

Use signposting words and phrases (e.g. therefore, however, conversely, again) to help readers follow your work. See ASU Guide to Words for Linking Paragraphs. Phrases such as “The underlying reason” may be used to address the cause/effect and show relationships between concepts, etc. “It is disputable whether” may be used in arguments (i.e. giving and evaluating information). “The first factor to consider” may be used to order or process (showing how something is done).

When you provide specific detail/s as evidence, follow Harvard Referencing system. Show how each reference used relates to the exact task and supports your points. You are the detective giving all possible evidence to support the case! State your evidence for all assertions. Avoid generalisations (e.g. All authors consider…), assumptions (e.g. People in Britain are British) and rhetorical questions (e.g. Why does this happen?). Choose your quotes carefully, keeping them brief and explaining the importance and relevance of each. You need to use as much evidence as possible! Quotes need to be within quotation marks and clearly state Author (year: page number). Paraphrased references need Author (year). Copy all reference details into the References/ Bibliography immediately, fully and accurately as this is better than compiling the list later.

Refer to all your sources in 2 places:!!!

  • in the main body of your work in the abbreviated form (author’s surname, year)
  • in the last section, in a detailed list of References/Bibliography.





Restate your focus by emphasising the key points, drawing together the threads of your work. A basic conclusion refers back to the main points, linking them to the exact task to prove that you have addressed it exactly. For example, ‘This essay has looked at the issues of… and found…’

DO NOT include any new information/evidence because you are ‘summing up’ (as for a jury!). For this reason, you generally do not include any text citations but you may cross reference. Check your Conclusion refers back to the Introduction. Link them in case the reader was not paying attention! Make sure that your ending does not tail off weakly as a conclusion should be strong!



Follow Harvard Referencing for all referencing and quotations. Referencing is the process of recording details of the secondary sources (books, journal articles, electronic sources etc.). Read the ASU Guide to Harvard Referencing for examples of how to reference any sort of material. Check your Harvard Referencing is thorough – that you have included all your sources. Cross-reference points where possible to avoid repetition.

Bibliographies contain all the sources that you used in your research, even if you did not quote or refer to them specifically in your text as well as those you used in the text!!!


Check your work

When finished your first draft, make sure that all sections link, flowing smoothly from one idea/point to another. Check spelling, punctuation and use of English grammar. Edit to improve clarity and readability, to cut repetition and keep within the word count. Attend an ASU Editing & Proof Reading workshop & see ASU Guide Editing and Proofreading your Work.

Check your title page has all necessary details e.g. –

n Full title of your essay

n Tutor’s name

n Your Module and Degree programme

n Your name /ID

n Submission date

n Final word count


To what extent are the Eastern European countries catching up with the rest of Europe?”

















nTutor’s name

n Module and Degree programme

n Name /ID

n Submission date 

n Final word count : 1285



‘Catching-up’ or ‘Convergence’ is an economic process which makes it possible for economically backward country or group of countries to reach and acquire the same level as the another group of countries which are more advanced, using various kinds of push-pull effect techniques or mechanisms where stronger moves towards the weaker (Boillot, 2006). The classical indicator of the stronger and weaker economy in such case is level of per capita GDP which is being indicated in terms of a comparable currency. This catching-up process was quite evident in the European Union between the period of 1970-2000 and major evolution was seen between the two groups of countries in the period of 1960-1990. The two groups which emerged in the EU were the East European countries and the South European countries which became part of EU in the eighties.

Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary are considered to be the three largest economies amongst the eight in the group of Central and eastern European countries (CEE). Although the eastern European countries underwent phenomenal changes in political and  economic system while they were getting transited to market economies during the 1990’s and they did catch-up as compared to the older countries economic differences like the per capita GDP can still be seen (Commission, 2003).Structural breaks have been found  when following the research done on study conducted on the convergence of OECD countries (Strazicich, Lee and Day, 2004). Even  Carvalho and Harvey identified Spain , Portugal and Greece  under the lower income group amongst the  EU countries so the per capita GDSP of these countries is found to be low (Carvalho and Harvey, 2005).

It has been identified that until further exogenous breaks occur it will take Hungary and Czech Republic 20 years in the catching-up process while the time taken by Poland is much longer. The reason being it has been analysed that the relative income for Czech Republic and Hungary is very much static as compared to Mediterranean countries, Moreover; it has been found that the relative income of Czech Republic is stationary in comparison to EU15. In case of Poland the first difference of relative incomes that is just the growth rate differentials are found to be stationary .This indicates that the real per capita GDP of Hungary and Czech Republic are seen to be converging towards the Mediterranean countries income (Strazicich, Lee and Day, 2004). The trend of Czech Republic is more stochastically converging towards EU15. Thus it indicates that it will take 21 years for Czech Republic for convergence and to end the process of catching-up. In contrast the catching-up trend shown by Hungary is a relatively faster which shows that it will take 17-19 years for completing the catching-up process with EU15. Poland being the poorest amongst all three will take much longer time for catching-up (Brüggemann and Trenkler, 2005).

A report called the European  Human Capital Index (EHCI) has also warned that the Due to widening human capital gap with the western European continent, the long term economic potential of the Eastern European countries has been undermined. This has resulted in danger of Eastern European countries never catching-up with the rest of Europe (Luypaert, 2007).  On Monday 15thOctober, 2007 a report was released by EHCI according to which the ranking was given to Eastern European member countries based upon their ability to develop and sustain the human capital in the country in Brisbane. After the downfall of communism in these countries it has been witnessed that the economic growth has been far and above the growth found in any other member country of the continent, which has narrowed the differences existing with regard to economic wealth between the Eastern European member countries and rest of the Europe. But this performance will not be seen any more because of some problems existing in these countries. In order to compete with the Western European countries and Asia the economy has to be innovation-driven, where the Eastern European countries lack. The main reasons which have been causing the lack of innovation in these countries are continuous barn-drain; region’s continuously shrinking population, improper investment in skills and education (mainly amongst the workers which are aged 45 years and above) and very high rate of unemployment.

Moreover, another reason which is hampering the catching-up process of Eastern European countries with the rest of Europe is found to be the bad demographic outlook of these countries. In these eastern European member nations the birth rates are found to be the lowest in almost every country. When the comparative analysis is done between the birth rate and the number of brain-drains it is found that the picture comes out to be worst. Adding to the woes of these member nations are the strict policies like early retirement schemes which need modifications. The rate of unemployment needs to be reduced and part-time employment needs to be given stimulation. The need of the hour to fasten the catching-up process is to keep the people in their jobs, along with providing jobs to the unemployed at the same time.

Another reason which has been pointed out for not catching-up with the rest of the Europe is failing to make better policies where money is invested on people older than 45 years. That is why the policy makers of these countries have been criticised a lot. Lack of good policies has resulted in one third of the population in these countries becoming “lost generation”.

The growth theory also points towards major two factors which cause growth. First is growth according to which accumulation of labour and capital determines the catching-up process this means a certain amount of human capital is needed for growth. Secondly growth is reliable on the productivity growth which can either be developed through R&D or through technology transfer. Thus for the growth of Eastern European countries too accumulation of human capital is needed (Vanhoudt, Matha and Smid, 2000). The recent literature related to growth indicates that in advanced countries the productivity growth is also very important source of growth. The productivity gap is found to be very large in the Eastern European countries, so the productivity growth will be of great importance in these regions and is bound to play a centralised role in catching-up process (Easterly and levine, 2001).

The only EU members which are found to be doing well are Lithuania, Czech republic and Estonia who still have some chance of achieving the  western standards of living and catching-up with the rest of Europe within the time span of next two decades. But the members like Slovakia, Poland and Bulgaria have shown trailing in the index ranking and they are likely to remain in their current position that is they will be stuck in the relative poverty for quite longer time span when a comparison is done with the EU average. Turkey is the only ray of hope as per the experts which will play a major role in handling the human capital needs of Europe in near future.

Thus considering the report of European Capital Index, which states the lack of human capital in eastern European countries and as per the growth theory for growth accumulation of human capital is necessary, it seems the catching-up process for this region will slow down. The need is to make better policies in the areas of education, employment and to increase the birth rate so that a sustainable catching-up process can be initiated in these economies and the productivity growth can be enhanced.




Boillot, J.-J. (2006) Europe After Enlargement: Economic Challenges for EU And India, New Delhi: Academic Foundation.

Brüggemann, R. and Trenkler, C. (2005) ‘Are Eastern European Countries Catching Up? Time Series Evidence for Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland’, Department of Economics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, germany, March.

Carvalho, V.M. and Harvey, A.C. (2005) ‘Convergence in the trends and cycles of euro-zone Income’, Journal of Applied Econometrics, p. Forthcoming.

Commission, E. (2003) ‘Towards an enlarged European Union: Key indicators on member states and candidate countries’, Booklet, Brussels.

Easterly, W. and levine, R. (2001) ‘It’s Not Factor Accumulation:Stylized facts and Gwwoth Models’, World Bank economic Review, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 177-219.

Luypaert, J. (2007) Eastern Europe risks never catching up with western states, 15 October, [Online], Available: [8 June 2012].

Strazicich, M.C., Lee, J. and Day, E. (2004) ‘Are incomes converging among OECD countries?Time series evidence with two structural breaks’, Journal of Macroeconomics, vol. 26, pp. 131-145.

Vanhoudt, P., Matha, T. and Smid, B. (2000) ‘How Productive are Capital investments in Europe?’, EIB Papers, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 81-106.


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