Introduction to European Law

Academic year: 2023-24 
Course: Foundation Course –  Humanities
Period: Second semester 

Number of hours: 24 

Lecturer: Riccardo Luporini (

Language of instruction: English 

Module description

This module serves as an introduction to the legal and institutional aspects of the European Union (EU). It provides fundamental knowledge about the history of the integration process, the EU’s competences and its institutional setup, and the primary methods of creating, implementing, and enforcing EU law. Additionally, the module offers an overview of EU sectoral policies and covers topics such as the protection of the environment and external action.

Learning Objectives

This module is designed for students who have no prior knowledge of EU law. It aims to provide them with a basic understanding of the subject matter. By the end of the course, students are expected to understand the main reasons, mechanisms, advantages, and disadvantages of the EU integration process. Additionally, they should know how the EU works in comparison to other supranational entities and be able to examine and discuss the EU’s role in addressing some of the current global challenges.

Teaching methods 

The module will run for 9 weeks and will be divided into 9 lessons, with each lesson lasting for 2 hours per week. The lectures will be based on ppt presentations prepared by the lecturer, and will be designed to be as interactive as possible, with active participation from the students encouraged. To further aid the learning process, students may be given written tests in the form of quizzes or open-ended questions.


1. The origins and development of the European integration process

2. Membership: accession to and withdrawal from the EU Treaties

3. Who governs the EU? Competences and institutional framework

4. The creation and application of EU Law

5. Enforcing EU Law

6. Fundamental freedoms and fundamental rights

7. EU sectoral policies and the case of environmental protection

8. The EU, international law and other supranational entities

9. EU external action

This is a tentative list of sessions, but students will be encouraged to suggest some topics for discussion.


All the necessary studying material will be provided by the lecturer in an electronic format.

Assessment methods 

Active class participation will be taken into account in the final assessment, both for physically present and online students. During the course, written tests consisting of multiple-choice or short open-ended questions may be scheduled. At the end of the course, there will be a final oral exam, during which each student will be required to deliver a presentation on a topic of interest previously agreed with the lecturer, and answer some questions based on the topics discussed in class.

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