3 ECTS credits
90 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 6001515FNR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Law and Criminology
International and European Law
Educational team
Jean-Philippe Van West (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
26 contact hours Lecture
64 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

Following a terminological introduction (including some public finance considerations), the course concentrates on tax obstacles to the cross-border movement of products and production factors and discusses the relevant legal frameworks developed at the international and regional levels to eliminate these obstacles or mitigate their adverse effects. It first focuses on the main direct tax obstacles to the international movement of production factors (including economic and juridical double taxation and discrimination) and compares the legal remedies formulated in the framework of the OECD (the OECD Treaty Model) and the EU (positive and negative harmonisation). It also discusses recent developments related to states’ attempts at addressing the challenges of the digital economy including the fight against fraud and aggressive tax planning strategies (the OECD BEPS project and Pillars 1 and 2 Agreements and the EU transparency package and ATAD directives). Secondly it focuses on the main indirect tax obstacles to international trade (including customs duties, discriminatory internal taxes, and inconsistencies leading to double taxation) and compares the legal remedies formulated in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (GATT and GATS agreements), the OECD (International VAT/GST guidelines) and the EU (positive and negative harmonisation).

Course material
Digital course material (Required) : International and European Taxation, Reader which contains a detailed outline of the course, a number of cases that illustrate the main international tax issues referred to above and a selection of relevant reading materials.
Practical course material (Recommended) : Basic handbooks on international taxation and publications of the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation, available from the University library, BIB
Additional info


Learning Outcomes

Algemene competenties

The course aims at providing students with sufficient knowledge and insight into the basic issues of international and European taxation to allow them to function adequately in any private or public sector position that concerns the tax aspects of cross border movements of products, services, labour, capital and technology. Students are therefore expected at the end of the course to understand and be able to work with basic international tax concepts and to suggest solutions, on a case and essay basis, to international tax issues commonly encountered by international tax practitioners and government and Court officials dealing with international taxation.

The students will acquire knowledge and understanding of:

- the EU and international tax rules and principles;
- the policy making and legislative decision process in the field of taxation; and,
- the tax challenges of the globalized and digital economy.

In terms of skills, the students will:

- be able to apply their theoretical legal knowledge to practical cases;
- be able to assess the impact of tax rules on investment and business decisions; and,
- be able to develop critical thinking regarding the international and EU tax rules and principles.

In terms of attitudes, the students will:

- be able to develop their own autonomous and critical legal reasoning regarding complex global and European challenges and to proactively develop pertinent legal solutions; and,
- be able to work with and express themselves in the English language on complex legal matters.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Written Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

Within the Written Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Written Exam with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 100% of the final mark.

Additional info regarding evaluation

A written exam of 2 hours, closed book, marked on a credit scale from 1 to 20.

Allowed unsatisfactory mark
The supplementary Teaching and Examination Regulations of your faculty stipulate whether an allowed unsatisfactory mark for this programme unit is permitted.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of International and European Law: Standaard traject