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Current Issues of European Integration


Admission requirements

The course is aimed at law students; a general background in European law (EU and ECHR) is recommended. Students from other backgrounds (including international relations, European Studies etc.) can also apply, but they should be aware of the fact that the course will take a legal approach.

The course is primarily meant for exchange students who are following the Leiden Law Courses. If some places remain available, regular Leiden-based students may apply as well and follow the course as an elective.


As indicated by its name, the course “Current Issues of European integration” will focus on contemporary problems, challenges or policy issues that play a crucial role in the process of European integration. Every year the staff of the Europa Institute will designate one or more particular theme(s). This will allow the course to be up-to-date – and relevant. In recent years, the course focused on the rule of law crisis that has been developing in several European countries and the various mechanisms that were used by the EU and the Council of Europe to protect the rule of law. It is not unlikely that this topic will return in the years to come, but the course might also be devoted to, for instance, the EU’s foreign policy, the ‘Green deal’, the role of the EU in regulating the digital age.

Objectives of the course
The course aims on the one hand to provide an overview of the historic background and contemporary understanding of the issues at hand. On the other hand, the course will seek to map the various European institutions that deal with the issue, explore the way in which they operate and analyse the policies that have been developed in the area. Depending on the topic, the course will focus more closely on the key dilemmas that the policy initiatives must confront and the position of a number or European States on the matter. Where appropriate the most relevant case-law of the ECtHR and the CJEU will be reviewed.

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

At the end of this course, and on the basis of the assigned materials, students can:

  • explain the concept and the most important characteristics of the selected issues;

  • critically reflect on these concepts and characteristics as they developed over time;

  • solve a fictional case concerning the issues addressed during this course;

  • write a short essay concerning specific situations or pertinent issues.


Check MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • 10 interactive lectures (2 hours each)

  • Required preparation by students: preparation of the assigned reading materials

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • (1) Written exam (70% of the grade) and (2) a joint paper (in groups of two) (30% of the grade)

  • Those of you 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 a written or oral exam.

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.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations). Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials
The reader will include all references to literature, case law and other assigned materials


Check the website under “course and exam enrollment” for information on how to register for the course.

Contact information


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: European Law

  • Room number secretary: KOG, B.1.11

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 527 3596

  • Email:


In case of (corona)restrictions imposed by the government, this course description is subject to change.