In 2012, the EU received the Nobel Peace Prize for its decades-long contribution
to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights
in Europe. War has become virtually unthinkable in the EU. When the first
steps towards supranational cooperation - primarily targeted at preventing
the rearmament of Germany - were made in the aftermath of World War Two,
the Founding Fathers of the European integration construct could never
have imagined this outcome in their wildest dreams. Over the years, the
supranational cooperation would widen - from the original European Communities
consisting of 6 Member States to the current Union of 27 Members – and
deepen – from the originally almost purely economically inspired Communities
to the current Union with a say in almost all areas of national competence.
At the same time, problems with the Euro have plunged the EU in one of
the biggest crises since its inception. This challenges lawmakers to tackle
difficult questions about the continued existence of the Euro and the future
direction of the European integration project.
This course will give the students an insight into the law of the EU,
a vast and fascinating area of law which forms an integral part of the
legal systems of its 27 Member States. The course is divided into three
parts. In the first part, we will pay attention to the creation and the
development of the EU, its institutional structure and functioning, and
the specific nature and sources of EU law. In the second part, we will
examine how EU law impacts on the lives of EU citizens as well as on companies
that are established or provide services in the EU. In the final
part, we will tackle Europe’s common currency crisis, investigating causes,
effects and possible routes out of this existential crisis of the Union.
If you are a student, lawyer, entrepreneur or simply interested in the
EU, its development and legal system, this course will provide you
with the foundations. The course is of interest to people both inside
and outside the European Union: EU citizens may learn how to benefit from
the rights contained in EU life; people from other parts of the world may
learn from the EU’s specific set-up, its functioning and the legal solutions
being applied in the European context.