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Knowledge and understanding

The student will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the external relations of European law and international relations, with particular reference to economic relations. 

Applying knowledge and understanding

The student will be able to apply abstract knowledge acquired by lecture and reading to different cases and come to a balanced and argued conclusion 

Further expected learning outcomes:

  • Making judgements: The student will be able to identify, characterise and analyse EU external relations, in a coherent, argumentative and logic manner. Acquisition of critical reasoning through extensive practical case studies and follow up discussion. 

  • Communication skills: The student will be able to explain to the non-expert the main concepts of EU external relations. 

  • Learning skills: The student will be able to update or expand his/her knowledge independently using texts, scientific articles, blogs and websites, and to acquire the ability to attend specialist seminars and conferences. 


The course aims at providing knowledge about the main concepts, principles and particularities of EU external law. 

The following topics are dealt with: 

- the key players of EU external action 

- EU legal personality 

- EU law and international law 

- delimitation of European Union/Member State external competence 

- negotiation and conclusion of agreements 

- agreements concluded by the Member State before and after accession to the European Union 

- common commercial policy 

- common foreign and security policy 


Recommended textbooks

Bart Van Vooren and Ramses A. Wessel, EU External Relations Law: Text, Cases and Materials, Cambridge University Press, 2014, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 11 


Piet Eeckhout, EU External Relations Law, Oxford, 2011, Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 


Stephan Keukeleire and Tom Delreux, The Foreign Policy of the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, Chapters1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11 

For students attending the class, a selection of readings, with the help of powerpoint presentations 

Students are encouraged to consult the essential sources of EU law, available at 


Learning results to be verified

The exam verifies the knowledge acquired. 

Assessment method

Written and oral examination

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