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The Union in the World


Admission requirements

Bachelor degree in law (or similar; see the general requirements for the Master European Law) and sufficient knowledge in English. Students are strongly advised to follow an EU law introductory course before enrolling in this seminar.


This course takes as a point of departure the specific foreign policy objectives of the European Union, as defined in the Lisbon Treaty; and seeks to examine the legal means the Union has at its disposal to fulfil them. It envisages the various actors of EU external relations,and examines the legal principles which govern their (inter)actions. It also analyses the instruments and policies of EU external relations, as well as their legal effects within the EU and Member States’ legal orders. In this context, the Common Commercial Policy, the Common Foreign and Security Policy policy of the EU will be explored, as well as some specific EU relations with third states, such as countries from the Union’s neighbourhood.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The purpose of the course is to introduce the students to the rich case law and intricate jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice in the field of EU external relations, however limited the Court’s jurisdiction has been in this regard.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

  • : By the end of the course, students should be able to analyse critically the continuing development of the case law, and take part in academic discussions on the role and capabilities of the EU on the international stage. Moreover, several aspects of the course will also bring the students to examine and reflect on broader constitutional principles of the EU. During the course, students will of course be required thoroughly to familiarise themselves with the materials of the subject.


Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. Christophe Hillion

  • Required preparation by students: Prepare the sessions as described in the reader


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars:

  • Names of instructors:

  • Required preparation by students:

Other methods of instruction

  • None.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)
Open book exam

Submission procedures

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.


More information on this course is offered in “Blackboard”:

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

Course information guide:

The Union in the World reader

Recommended course materials


Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Mr. drs. L.B. Louwerse

  • Work address: Law Faculty, Europa Instituut, Room B1.32, Steenschuur 25, 2311 ES leiden

  • Contact information:

  • Telephone number: 071-5278591

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: Public Law

  • Room number secretary: B1.19

  • Opening hours: 09.00-17.00

  • Telephone number secretary: 071-5277760

  • Email:




Belangstellenden die deze cursus in het kader van contractonderwijs willen volgen (met tentamen), kunnen meer informatie vinden over kosten, inschrijving, voorwaarden, etc. op de website van Juridisch PAO.