3 ECTS credits
90 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 6004201FNR 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
Frank Hoffmeister (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
26 contact hours Lecture
64 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

The course examines, from a legal perspective, the external relations of the EU. The first part analyses the EU as an international actor from a historical perspective, its legal personality, the institutional framework of EU external relations, and the external competences of the EU. The second part analyses the instruments and procedures of EU external relations, including the negotiation and conclusion of international agreements, the relationship between EU law and international law, mixed agreements, the EU's participation in international organisations, and the relationship between Member States' agreements and EU law. The third part analyses major policy areas of EU external relations, i.a. the common foreign and security policy, and the common commercial policy.

Course material
Handbook (Required) : EU External Relations Law, Wessel & Larik, 2nd, 9781509926763, 2020
Handbook (Recommended) : The Law of EU External Relations, Kuijper, Wouters, Hoffmeister, De Baere & Ramopoulos, 3rd, 9780198869481, 2021
Additional info

A detailed course outline and a reader containing mandatory and background readings are distributed at the beginning of the course through the Canvas Learning Management System. Students are expected to have read the mandatory reading before the scheduled lecture.

Learning Outcomes

Algemene competenties

The course is law in context. External relations have an important political context and content. The EU has framed all this in a stringent legal canvas. The objective and the challenge are that students having followed the course have a clear understanding of the legal structure and can translate and apply it to actual situations as they present them from year to year.


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

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

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

Additional info regarding evaluation

Students will be evaluated based on an oral exam. Focus will be on the thorough understanding of the steering functionality of benchmark ECJ decisions and real-world applications of EU policies.

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