Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM5830 (AF:381040 AR:249967)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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This course is part of the curriculum in European Union Studies, master's degree programme in Comparative International Relations. It aims at providing a basic knowledge of European Union Law. The course contributes to the achievement of the multidisciplinary goals of the master's degree programme in Comparative International Relations, above all with regard to the legal area.
1. Knowledge and ability to understand the basics of European Union Law.
2. Knowledge and ability to understand what are the fields in which EU institutions can adopt policies
3. Knowledge and ability to understand decision making procedures of the EU in its institutions and with the member states.
4. Ability to understand a normative text and ability to develop an opinion on topics debated during the course.
5. Ability to find and read the normative sources and case-law even through the main websites.
Students must fulfil the minimum credit requirements (ECTS) for the admission to the master's degree programme in Comparative International Relations. It means that students must possess at least 6 ECTS from the legal area (IUS). In particular, a basic knowledge of Constitutional and/or Public Law (IUS/08, IUS/09) and mainly of International Law (IUS/13) would be appropriate.
1. A constitution based upon international treaties : Primary law; Treaty-making and revision; respective powers of EU and member states’ institutions; Accession to and withdrawal from the EU
2: Scope of EU law and conferral: conferral and distribution of competences between member states and the Union;
Legal bases for EU action; Subsidiarity and proportionality in exercising EU competences; Personal and territorial scope
3: Values, fundamental rights and citizenship: Values of the Union as a requirement to member states and EU institution; Content and scope of the Charter of fundamental
rights; EU citizenship: acquisition and content; Mutual confidence
4: The area of freedom, security and justice: Free movements of persons and the abolition of border controls: the Schengen Area; Policies relating to third country citizens; Judicial and police cooperation
5: The internal market: Deep integration in Europe; Customs union and the free movement of goods; Free movement of persons, services and capital; Approximation of laws: Competition rules; External dimension of the internal market
6: Policies bordering on the internal market ; Environment, consumer protection, food safety and public health; Redistributive policies and social policies; Economic and monetary union
7: External action: Commercial policy, development and humanitarian aid; EU legal personality and treaty making power; Foreign and security policy
8: Specific features of EU law: Autonomy; Direct applicability; Primacy; sincere cooperation and the search for effet utile; Multilingualism; Variable geometry
9: Institutional framework of the EU; A general framework for the European Communities and the European Union; Institutions with a general remit: Parliament, European Council, Council, Commission and CJEU
Specialised institutions, bodies, offices and agencies; General legal framework, means and resources
10: Distribution of powers in the EU (1): Separation of powers or checks and balances; Legislative and budget-making power
11: Distribution of powers in the EU (2): Executive power; Oversight and judicial review; Political guidance, representation and institutional management
12: Acts of EU law and hierarchy of norms (1): Hierarchy of sources and norms in EU law; General principles of EU law; EU international agreements
13: Acts of EU law and hierarchy of norms (2): Binding acts of secondary law: directives, regulations and decisions; Contracts; Non-binding acts and soft law 108
14: Judicial review and case law (1) Remedies against EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies; Remedies against member states
15: Judicial review and case law (2): Referral for preliminary rulings; The interaction between individuals, member states’ judiciary and the CJEU as a cornerstone of effectiveness of EU law

Mandatory Handbook: J. ZILLER, Advanced Introduction to European Union Law, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2nd edition 2023. The book is avilable as e-book.
During the classes the students will be provided with a list of further resources, including:
-Elise Muir, An Introduction to the EU Legal Order, Cambridge University Press, 2023, anche disponibile come e-book
-R. SCHÜTZE, European Union Law. 3a ed., Cambridge University Press, 2021.
Students may replace the mandatory handbook with one of the latter if they so wish.
Students have always to refer the Treaty on European Union (TUE) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE), consolidated versions, that are available online: students who are not english native speakers should check the language version of their mother tongue if one of the 24 EU languages. The English language version does not prevail over the 23 others.
Written examination or 4 000-5 000 word paper on a topic agreed with the lecturer, in English. The final mode will be indicated at the beginning of the course.
Lectures, analysis of legal texts and judgments. The whole programme will be delivered in class.
Students will be stimulated to debate, especially on the actuality of EU decision making and policies.
The course will be delivered in English. The professor also speaks Italian, as well as French (mother tongue), German, Dutch and Spanish.

Students can contact the teacher via e-mail ( Students wanting to discuss with the professor shall make an appointment via e-mail. E-mail shall be written in a formal style, shall be very clear and shall not concern questions whose answers are easily found on the university websites and that therefore do not deserve any reply. Meetings, always upon previous appointment, will be held either in presence before or after classes or online with Zoom.
Students with disabilities may contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices ( to benefit from specific services (i.e., alternate testing, readers, etc).

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "International cooperation" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 18/01/2024