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EU external relations law


EU external relations law


Anno accademico 2019/2020

Codice dell'attività didattica
GIU0825A - GIU0726
Prof. Lorenza Mola (Titolare del corso)
Dott. Alberto Miglio (Titolare del corso)
Insegnamento integrato
Corso di studi
Laurea magistrale in European Legal Studies - a Torino (D.M. 270/2004)[0703M21]
1° anno 2° anno
SSD dell'attività didattica
IUS/13 - diritto internazionale
Modalità di erogazione
Lingua di insegnamento
Modalità di frequenza
Tipologia d'esame
Cf. Students' Guide

Sommario insegnamento


Obiettivi formativi

NEWS (04.05.2020) - For the entire duration of the 2020 summer exam session (May-July), oral examinations will be held online through the Webex platform.

It is imperative that all students wishing to attend the course this year both register (see botton below) and have access to the following Moodle webpage, where all materials will be uploaded: key is required. The page will be updated regularly starting Thursday 5 March.

NEWS (05.03.2020) - The syllabus for the first week of the course has been uploaded on Moodle. All students are required to read the materials uploaded and submit the assignment on Moodle by Wednesday, 11 March 2020.

NEWS (05.03.2020) - Following the suspension of all face-to-face academic activities until 15 March, the classes originally scheduled for next week are replaced with further online activities. Feedback on the first week's readings will be provided in the form of comments or further readings.

NEWS (03.03.2020) - On Thursday, 5 March, readings will be uploaded on Moodle, together with a test. All ATTENDING students are required to read the materials and complete the test before the first class, which is scheduled for Thursday, 12 March, where the readings will be discussed. The test will be evaluated as part of "participation in class" (which comprehensively accounts for 20% of the exam grade). 



The external action of the European Union has consistently grown in scope and relevance over time and is today an essential component of many an EU policy. The European Union acts in the international arena on a wide variety of matters (trade, environment, development cooperation, human rights, foreign and defence policy...) and by different means (unilateral acts, treaties, participation in international organizations, -field missions...), often through or alongside its Member States. Such activity affects the life of the International Community and the Member State's exercise of external and internal sovereignty.

The course aims at enabling students to know and understand the legal underpinnings of EU external action from the intertwined perspectives of EU law and international institutional law. When it acts externally and internally, the EU is bound by international legal rules, on the one hand, and contributes to shape and develop them, on the other hand. At the same time, international institutional law itself acknowledges that the internal rules of an international organization (here, the EU) affect the fields of action and the means whereby the organization participates in the life of the International Community. This will require to also take account of the internal legal foundations of EU external action.


Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

On completion of the course, students are expected to have a good knowledge and understanding of the legal aspects of the EU external relations, the interaction of EU law with international law, the contribution of the case law. Students should be able to critically analyze legal problems of EU external relations, identifying theoretical issues and discussing their application in actual cases.


Modalità di insegnamento

The topics included in the programme will be addressed mainly through the discussion in class of readings assigned in advance of each class. Readings will consists of international legal documents, EU legal sources and cases; all readings will be included in a Syllabus uploaded on Moodle in advance of the start of each module. It is imperative that all students read the relevant materials regularly in advance of the class. Lectures by external experts will complement the course by focusing on specific policy areas. Students wishing to attend the course are asked to register themselves on Moodle prior to the beginning of the course.


Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

For students attending the course: 20% participation in class, 40% case-studies, 40% oral exam.
- Participation in class will be evaluated on the basis of a regular path of attendance and interaction with the lecturer and the class.
- There will be three compulsory case-studies to be performed in class, one at the end of each module. They will be marked on the basis of understanding of the relevant issues, structure, legal reasoning, legal terminology. Only the two best marks among the three will be considered for the final grade.
- The oral exam will be on the whole programme. For the entire duration of the 2020 summer exam session, examinations will be held online through the Webex platform.

For students not attending the course: oral examination. For the entire duration of the 2020 summer exam session, examinations will be held online through the Webex platform.
Knowledge and understanding of the topics will be ascertained with respect to theory and case law, according to the textbook chosen by the student (see recommended readings below). In addition, a list of compulsory cases is provided in "Materiali didattici".


Attività di supporto




The programme consists of three modules:
1) International legal personality of the EU: foundations and values, objectives, competences;
2) Tools of EU external action: conclusion of international agreements, participation in international organizations, diplomatic and consular relations, international dispute settlement;
3) EU law and international law: EU law and customary international law; EU international agreements as part of the EU legal order; international responsibility of the EU; relations with and impact on international agreements of the Member States.

Testi consigliati e bibliografia


For students attending the course, materials uploaded on Moodle and class notes.
For students not attending the course,
A. ONE of the following textbooks:
1. R. Wessel, J. Larik (Eds), EU External Relations Law. Text, Cases and Materials, Hart, 2020; or
2. M. Cremona (ed.), Structural principles in EU external relations law, Hart, 2018; or
3. P. Eeckhout, M. Lopez-Escudero, The European Union's external action in times of crisis, Hart, 2016; or
4. P. Koutrakos, EU International Relations Law, Hart, 2015 (or later edition if available) - Parts I to III and Chapter 14; 
B. the cases uploaded on "Materiali didattici".



Knowledge of international law and EU law is a pre-requisite. Specific knowledge of international institutional law is recommended.
All lectures will be in English.
Attendance is optional but recommended. Attending students are expected to come to class regularly, read all the materials in advance and actively participate in the discussion (see "Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento").


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