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EU external relations law


EU external relations law


Anno accademico 2020/2021

Codice dell'attività didattica
GIU0825A - GIU0726
Prof.ssa Lorenza Mola (Titolare del corso)
Insegnamento integrato
Corso di studi
Laurea magistrale in European Legal Studies - a Torino (D.M. 270/2004)[0703M21]
1° anno
Periodo didattico
Secondo semestre
SSD dell'attività didattica
IUS/13 - diritto internazionale
Modalità di erogazione
Lingua di insegnamento
Modalità di frequenza
Tipologia d'esame
Scritto e/o orale

Knowledge of both EU Law and International Law (general courses). Good knowledge of English, both written and spoken.
Propedeutico a

Sommario insegnamento


Obiettivi formativi

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 States' 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. 


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 of study materials assigned in advanced and of assignments. Study materials will mainly consists of readings (international legal documents, EU legal sources and case law) but will also include video lessons introducing the topics and conference recordings. Assignments may consist of reaction papers, briefing notes, legal opinions, interactive forums, etc. and will prepare students to attend the case-studies which form part of the final grade (see the section on evaluation)

The teaching blocks will thus be organised through a blend of different components: video lectures, reading and other study materials, assignments with individual or general feedback, in presence or virtual room  (Webex) sessions for interaction with students, etc.

All materials and assignments will be included in a Syllabus regularly implemented and uploaded on Moodle.

Students attending the course must read the relevant materials, do the assignments and take part to the meetings regularly.

It is imperative that students wishing to attend the course enrol in the teaching platform (Moodle)  prior to the beginning of the course, to have full access to materials and communications.


Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

For students attending the course: 20% participation, 40% case-studies, 40% oral exam.
- Participation in class (in presence or virtual) will be evaluated on the basis of a regular path of submission of assignments, and of attendance and interaction with the lecturer and the class.
- There will be three compulsory case-studies to be performed, 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 students not attending the course: oral examination.
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). 


Attività di supporto

Office hours will be held on a weekly basis in presence or via virtual meetings (the latters upon appointment)



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, ONE of the following textbooks:
1. R. Wessel, J. Larik (Eds), EU External Relations Law. Text, Cases and Materials, Hart, 2020, all chapters except 8, 10, 11, 13, 14 (highly recommended); or
2. M. Cremona (ed.), Structural principles in EU external relations law, Hart, 2018; or
3. P. Koutrakos, EU International Relations Law, Hart, 2015 (or later edition if available) - Parts I to III and Chapter 14.



Knowledge of international law and EU law is a pre-requisite. Knowledge of international institutional law is recommended.
All lectures will be in English.
Attendance is optional but recommended. 
It is imperative that students wishing to attend the course enrol in the teaching platform (Moodle)  prior to the beginning of the course.


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