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EU Institutional Law & General Principles of EU Law


Admission requirements

LL.B. or equivalent undergraduate degree or admission to the LL.M. Programme (European Law).


This course consists of two parts. Part I concerns EU law in legal practice. It discusses how EU law can be used by individual actors to achieve their aims, and the legal system that has developed around these uses over time. Classes in part I provide a solid introduction into the sources of EU law, its main doctrine and its judicial avenues mostly on the basis of case law.
Part II then switches to a public and constitutional perspective on the EU. It explains the constitutional set-up and process of the Union in terms of institutional structure and relationships. It includes an understanding of its claims of democracy.
The Course is given in the form of ten lectures and ten seminars. The lectures provide an overview and analysis of the main points. The seminars are then given in smaller groups, and conducted on the basis of questions which have been studied and answered by students beforehand.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
This course is aimed at providing students with the foundations of EU law. This will include:

  • Being able to find, interpret and apply the different sources of EU law, including primary law, secondary law, case law, and the general principles of EU law.

  • Understanding basic doctrines of EU law such as direct effect, supremacy, effectiveness, fundamental rights, loyal cooperation and respect for constitutional identity, and being able to apply these doctrines in concrete cases.

  • Understanding the mechanisms in EU law for judicial review and enforcement, as well as their interconnection with national systems..

  • Knowledge of the institutional architecture of the EU, including the horizontal relationship between the institutions and the vertical relationship between the EU and its Member States

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

  • Understanding of the foundations of EU law, enabling successful completion of remaining courses in the LL.M. Programme

  • Carry out research in the areas of EU law covered.

  • Solve practical cases in the areas of EU law covered.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10

  • Names of lecturers: Prof.W. T. Eijsbouts

  • Required preparation by students: Indicated reading before lecture; answering questions before seminar


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 10

  • Names of instructors: Dr. J.J. Rijpma, others t.b.a.

  • Required preparation by students: Students are expected to have done the required reading to have prepared the answers to questions.

Other methods of instruction *Depending on topical and fresh Union developments

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • One ‘zero check’ entry exam: this does not count towards a grade, but provides an initial assessment of one’s knowledge of EU law.

  • Midterm exam concluding first part of the course: 50% of the final grade.

  • Written exam (3 hours): 50% of the final grade

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.
The 50% grade for the mid-term exam will remain valid for the re-sit. If a student has not passed the course by the end of the academic year, partial grades for the mid-term and/or final exam are no longer valid.

Submission procedures
To be announced in course book and/or on Blackboard.

Areas to be tested within the exam
Areas are EU legal doctrine and principles, Acces to Justice, EU Institutions and action. 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 on Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

Text Books:

  • The free online Commission booklet ‘The ABC of EU law’ by Professor Klaus-Dieter Borchardt (for Zero-Check)

  • Text book to be announced

  • A reader with additional teaching materials will be made available on blackboard.

  • Treaty texts and secondary legislation:

  • N. Foster, Blackstone’s EU Treaties & Legislation, latest edition.

  • Reader as provided


Registration using uSis.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Prof.Dr. W.T. Eijsbouts

  • Work address: Steenschuur 25, room number B.1.37

  • Contact information:

  • Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 7392/8837

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: European Law

  • Room number secretary: B.1.21

  • Opening hours: Daily, 9:00-17:00

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 5278837

  • 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.