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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 course.


This course takes as a point of departure the specific foreign policy objectives of the European Union, as defined in the Lisbon Treaty, and examines the legal means the Union has at its disposal to fulfill them. It envisages the various actors of EU external relations, and considers the legal principles which govern their (inter)actions. It also analyses the instruments and policies of EU external relations (e.g. the Common Commercial Policy, the Common Foreign and Security Policy), as well as their legal effects within the EU and Member States’ legal orders.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The purpose of the course is to introduce the students to the rich case law 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 be required thoroughly to familiarise themselves with the materials of the subject.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of 3 or 2 hour lectures: (16 hours in total): 6

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. mr. Christophe Hillion

  • Required preparation by students: Reading of materials prescribed on blackboard

  • Lecture attendance is compulsory, students may miss up to one class


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 3

  • Names of instructors: Dr. Giovanni Gruni

  • Required preparation by students: Reading of materials prescribed on blackboard

  • Seminar attendance is compulsory, students may miss up to one class.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)
Open book exam

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:
Course information will be made available on Blackboard.

Reader will be made available on Blackboard

Recommended course materials


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Dr. Giovanni Gruni

  • Work address:KOG room B2.29

  • Email:

  • Telephone number: 071-5278905 (secretariat)


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: European Law

  • Room number secretariat: B1.21

  • Opening hours: 09.00-17.00

  • Telephone number secretary: 071-5278905

  • Email: