Advanced EU External Relations Law


This subject aims to provide the students with a thorough understanding of the main concepts and principles of EU external relations law in an interactive manner.

The External relations of the EU constitute an important area of EU law with rapidly developing case-law by the CJEU. The EU has become an important actor on the international scene, distinct from the Member States and different from other International Organisations. 

Case-studies will focus on actual developments, such as for instance the position of the EU in other International Organisations and/or security exceptions and sanctions.


The following topics are tackled in an interactive manner following a law-in-context approach (geo-political-economic) to case law of the CJEU:

- The EU as an international actor, the historical context en dynamics of the law of EU external relations, inter alia in the Treaties;

- EU Legal Personality;

- (Mixed) agreements concluded by the EU: negotiation and conclusions of agreements, legal basis, validity pursuant to EU and international law, implementation and (direct) effect, jurisdiction/interpretation by CJEU;

- Agreements concluded by the Member States before and after accession to the EU: validity pursuant to EU and international law;

- Status in EU law of international law and special agreements such as GATT/WTO, EVRM, UN Charter; interconnecting legal systems;

- The EU and other International Organisations;

- CFSP, Security exceptions, fight against terror and piracy, economic/financial/smart sanctions.


Some of the most topical issues will be dealt with in the form of case studies.

Key words: 
EU external relations, EU legal personality, Delimitation of EU/MS external competence, bilateral and multilateral agreements, the EU and other International Organisations, interconnecting legal systems, Common Foreign and Security Policy, security issues and sanctions, duty of loyal cooperation
Faculty members: