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EU Internal Market and Competition Law


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master (specialisation European law)


This course will focus on the main body of rules governing the internal market. An area without internal frontiers within which the Member States must ensure the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. The internal market comprises the backbone of the European integration project. In the first part of the course the four fundamental freedoms will be introduced. The “fifth freedom”, EU Citizenship, will additionally be studied as an example of how EU integration has moved beyond pure economic cooperation.

Whilst the internal market freedoms mainly address the behaviour of Member States, a fully developed internal market cannot function in the absence of additional rules ensuring free and fair competition between private actors on that market. The second part of the course therefore provides an overview of the EU competition rules. Those rules address anti-competitive practices by private actors, such as cartel agreements or abuses of a dominant economic position, but also the rules on state intervention in the market.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The objective of this course is to introduce students to the EU free movement and competition rules Students will learn how to identify, apply and distinguish those rules at a practical and academic level.

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

Internal Market
1. Ability to define the content of the rules on the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital and to explain how they interrelate;
2. Ability to determine which fundamental freedom applies in a given case;
3. Ability to identify whether a national measure restricts the fundamental freedom at hand;
4. Ability to determine whether a justification for a restriction exists, either in the Treaties or in the case law of the CJEU;
5. Ability to solve practical case studies, using the relevant rules laid down in the provisions of the EU Treaties, secondary legislation and case law of the CJEU.
6. Ability to identify the different techniques of market integration and to explain how they interrelate;
7. Ability to reflect critically on the role of fundamental rights in EU internal market legislation.
8. Ability to reflect critically on the concepts of market access and discrimination in internal market legislation.

Competition Law
1. Ability to identify and distinguish six key concepts of EU competition law (undertaking, affectation of interstate trade, effect on competition, (relevant) market, restriction and abuse)
2. Ability to identify five different branches of EU competition law: collusive behavior (cartels), abuse of a dominant position, concentration control, state aid and public undertakings.
3. Ability to solve practical case studies related to either branch from a substantive and a procedural point of view.

  1. Ability to understand and apply relevant rules laid down in the provisions of the EU Treaties, secondary legislation.
    1. Ability to read, apply and compare relevant Commission Guidelines and Commission Decisions.
    2. Ability to understand and qualify the role of the CJEU in each competition law branch
    3. Ability to distinguish the roles of EU and national competition authorities
    4. Ability to reflect critically on the role of economic and policy analysis in EU competition law
    5. Ability to understand and distinguish the different aims of competition policy
    6. Ability to distinguish the particular position of Services of General Economic Interest within EU competition law.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. Van Den Bogaert, Dr. G. Gruni and guest lecturers.

  • Required preparation by students: Students are required to read the compulsory literature and case law.


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 10

  • Names of instructors: to be confirmed

  • Required preparation by students: Students are required to read the compulsory literature and case law and prepare written answers to exercises

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Compulsory written assignment (25%)

  • Written exam (75%)

  • The grade obtained in the written assignment will remain valid for the period of one academic year.
    Students who fail the exam are entitled to sit a re-examination. Depending on the number of students failing the exam, the re-sit may take the form of an oral exam. In this case, students will be informed 10 days before the date scheduled for the oral exam. If a student has not passed the course by the end of the academic year, partial grades for written exam or written assignment are no longer valid.

Submission procedures
The written assignment will have to be submitted both in hard copy and electronically through Blackboard.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) and case law for the course, as well as all subjects discussed during the lectures and tutorials.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials


  • Students are free to use any textbook on EU internal market freedoms and EU competition law they wish.

  • We recommend:

    1. D. Chalmers, G. Davies and G. Monti, European Union Law, European Union Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014, 3rd edition)
    2. Paul Craig & Gráinne De Búrca, EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 6th edition)
    3. Catherine Barnard, The Substantive law of the EU – The Four Freedoms (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016, 5th edition), note: this book does not include EU competition law
    4. Richard Wish and David Bailey, Competition Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015, 8th edition); note: this book does not include the internal market freedoms
    5. Compulsory case law and reading materials will be made available on blackboard, as well as a list of recommended case law and reading materials.

Recommended course materials
Will be made available on Blackboard.


Registration is through uSis

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Dr. D. Piqani

  • Work address: Room B1.35 KOG

  • Contact information: via secretariat, see below

  • Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 8503

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: European law

  • Room number secretary: B.1.21

  • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9-17h

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 527 8905

  • Email:


All relevant information with regard to this course will also be made available on Blackboard.