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Foundations of EU Law


Admission requirements

This course is a compulsory course of the International Business Law bachelor track


Businesses have to operate within a legal reality. A legal reality that in turn is determined, applied and shaped by an institutional framework. This course covers the essentials of EU institutional law from a pragmatic point of view. How does the institutional framework affect companies and markets in the European Union, and how can this framework best be used to serve entrepreneurship and maximize opportunity? Through supremacy, EU law can be a highly effective tool to remove national barriers and open up markets. Understanding the role and functioning of EU institutions such as the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as the cooperation between the national and European courts also is vital in that regard. Similarly, European legislation directly operates in 27 Member State markets, making it vital to understand, monitor and where possible influence it. This requires a proper understanding of the institutional balance and legislative process, including the central role of committees, lobbying, and the different institutions therein. Furthermore, it is also essential to know how to enforce one’s rights in the institutional framework, for it is one thing to have a right, it is still another matter to enforce it, and actually derive the optimal benefit it may hold. Consequently, understanding how Brussels works, and how to make it work for you, instead of against you, has become essential for international commercial activity.

This course explores these foundations, institutional issues of EU law. In addition to providing the required basis, it does so by taking students on an in-depth investigation of one key piece of EU market legislation, following it from adoption, through application and interpretation, to eventual legal conflicts. The substantive aspects of this legislation will not be discussed, except to the level necessary for the study of the EU institutional foundations.

Course objectives

  • to teach the students the essentials of the institutional framework of the EU;

  • to illustrate the interaction between the national authorities and their European counterparts, explicitly including the legislative and decision-making process at the EU level;

  • to teach students how to read and interpret the European Treaties and the relevant secondary legislation;

  • to teach how to analyse the case law of the Luxembourg courts; and

  • to teach students how to challenge EU legislation –or national regulation with EU law-, and to enforce their rights under EU law, enabling them to bypass potential national obstacles.

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

  • have a proper knowledge of the institutional set-up of the EU, the relations between the institutions, and the interplay with the Member States;

  • properly understand the impact on the common market of the norms of supremacy and direct effects;

  • have an insight in the process of EU legislation and policy-making: the making of EU legislation, the role of the various institutions, the importance of lobbying at EU level, comitology and the legislative process, techniques of harmonization;

  • know the differing effects of regulations, directives, decisions and soft law instruments;

  • know how to enforce their rights at European level: the when, where what and how of legal proceedings in the EU to effectuate rights and circumvent national barriers; and

  • know how to protect their rights at national level: the duty of national administration and courts to uphold EU law, national remedies, principles of state liability and national procedural autonomy, etc.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 5

  • Names of lecturers: Tbc

  • Required preparation by students: Students should do the reading assigned prior to the lecture


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 5

  • Names of instructors: Tbc

  • Required preparation by students: Students should do the reading assigned prior to the seminar; students are required to prepare the case studies for class.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • 3 hour written exam (80%)

  • 1 paper (20%)
    If a student has not passed the course by the end of the academic year, partial grades for written exam or paper are no longer valid.

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.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

Craig & De Búrca: EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011, 5th edition)

Course information guide:
Will be made available on blackboard

Will be made available on blackboard

Recommended course materials

  • Forster, Blackstone’s Collection of EU law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, latest edition)

  • Other recommended reading will be made available on blackboard


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Dr Vicky Kosta

  • Work address: KOG, room 2.31

  • Contact information:

  • Telephone number: 071 527 8540

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: European Law

  • Room number secretary: KOG B.1.21

  • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9-17h

  • Telephone number secretary: 071 – 527 8837

  • Email:


Belangstellenden die deze cursus in het kader van contractonderwijs willen volgen (met tentamen), kunnen meer informatie vinden over kosten, inschrijving, voorwaarden, etc. op de website van Juridisch PAO.