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European Union Law Foundations


Please note that the following description of the course is only provisional and therefore subject to change.

Dutch students that have followed the 5 ECTS Course Introductie Europees Recht (BAI) will not receive credits fort his course due to the material overlap.

Admission requirements

  • Background in law

  • sufficient command of English (IELTS 6.5 or higher)


European Union law is a vast and fascinating area of law, forming an integral part of the legal systems of its Member States. Almost seventy percent of all rules and regulations in force in the EU Member States have their origin in Brussels. Although one may doubt the exact figure, it is beyond doubt that EU law continues to grow, both in terms of its importance and the range of topics covers.
Many of you will have little or no prior knowledge of EU law. The course therefore starts off as an introductory course, giving you the basics of European integration and the EU legal order. While it is not possible to cover all areas of EU law, the course aims at giving a thorough basis in the nature of the EU legal order, the EU institutional framework and the general principles of EU law.

How did it all start more than 60 years ago? How has the EU developed from a 6-member Community of Coal and Steel towards the Union of 28 we know today, covering a very broad range of areas? What is the role of the European Commission and other EU institutions? How do national and EU courts cooperate? What are the sources of EU law and how is EU law made? Why is the EU legal order unique in its kind and can individuals rely on EU law against their own state? What can individuals do to challenge EU legislation?
These are just some of the issues which will be dealt with throughout this course.
Through assignments and class discussions, students will get a practical grasp of EU law and will learn to work with the EU treaties and secondary EU legislation. Students will learn to read and analyze cases from the European Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and study some of its most important judgments.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

  • To give an overview of the constitutional development, institutional setting and functioning of the EU;

  • To understand the nature and application of EU law;

  • To understand how individuals can rely on, and challenge EU law;

  • To work with the Treaties and secondary legislation;

  • To analyze and understand the case law of the CJEU;

In overall, to understand the development of the Union and EU law through the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:
At the end of this course, students should:

  • Have a thorough understanding of the EU integration process and EU institutions;

  • Have a clear understanding of the sources, nature and application of EU law;

  • Have a clear understanding of the legal review of rights at national and European level;

  • Be familiar with the landmark judgments of the CJEU;

  • Be able to apply EU law to practical cases.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10
    The course will take place over five weeks with two classes per week. Each lecture lasts two hours and they are interactive. The lecturer will discuss with students the assigned reading materials and students will present cases which have been assigned previously.

  • Names of lecturers: Ilektra Antonaki

  • Required preparation by students:
    Students should read carefully all assigned reading materials and cases. They should actively participate in discussion. They will also be required to submit written assignments on case studies concerning practical issues of EU law.


Other methods of instruction

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam, open questions (essay questions and small case studies) (80%)

  • Written assignment (an essay question to engage your critical thinking upon a topical issue of constitutional/institutional nature) (10%)

  • Presentation of a case in class (10%)

If only a few of you fail the exam at the first attempt, the resit may be an oral exam. In that case, you will be informed by the coordinator 10 days ahead of the scheduled re-sit date. The exam, assignment and presentation together determine the final grade. Partial grades for the exam, assignment and presentation will lose their validity at the end of the academic year for those of you who have not passed the course by then.

Submission procedures
Assignments will be submitted through blackboard

Areas to be tested within the exam
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.


Course materials are contained in the reader and on Blackboard, which is the faculty’s e-learning environment. On the specific course site you may find additional information of an organisational nature as well as references to new judgments and other developments. Blackboard will also offer you an opportunity to ask questions. More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • C. Barnard and S. Peers (eds), European Union Law, Oxford University Press, 2014

  • N. Foster, Blackstone’s EU Treaties & Legislation, Oxford University Press, 2013 or latest available edition.]

Course information guide:

  • In the reader; on Blackboard.

  • Reader will be available before the start of the course

Recommended course materials
P. Craig and G. De Búrca, EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials, 5th ed, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Ilektra Antonaki

  • Work address: KOG building, room 238

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

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: European Law

  • Room number secretary: B. 121

  • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9-17h

  • Telephone number secretary: 071 – 527 8837

  • Email: