Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 610069-M-6
EU external Relations
Course info
Course module610069-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg Law School; TLS: TILEC; Tilburg Law and Economics Center;
Is part of
M Bestuurskunde
M Public Governance
M International and European Law
prof. dr. P. Delimatsis
Other course modules lecturer
O. Hrynkiv
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2019
Starting block
SM 1
Course mode
RemarksThis course will definitely take place in SM 1
Registration openfrom 14/08/2019 up to and including 24/08/2020
At the end of this series of lectures, the student is able to:
  • Identify the instruments and strategies that the EU uses to play a leading role in international affairs
  • Understand the delineation of competences within the EU
  • Explain the linkages between EU law and international law
  • Discuss landmark decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)
  • Understand the law and political economy of accession to (cf. Western Balkans) and withdrawal from (cf. UK) the EU
  • Describe succinctly the EU external action in several fields such as security policy; environment; human rights; trade and development and explain the EU strategy in those field
  • Understand the dynamics and legal framework of the EU bilateral relations with third countries
The textbook used is B. van Vooren and R. Wessel, EU External Relations Law, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Required Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of the mechanics of EU law (notably its institutional aspects) is recommended, but not required. The course is open to students from other disciplines as well, notably political scientists.
NB: This elective course will be activated only if a minimum number of students will register (18 students). The deadline for registration is 10 September 2019 at noon. After the deadline, in case that the minimum number of students is not reached the course will be discontinued and students will be informed accordingly. Students must not purchase literature before 10 September 2019.

This course focuses on a vital component of the European edifice, that is, the external relations of the EU. The EU is an active player globally and participates in manifold international agreements. However, critique has grown over the years as to the coherence of the EU external relations and various incidents made clear that the EU regularly failed to talk with one voice. After the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has allegedly acquired the much-needed and long-awaited institutional and substantive instruments to implement a comprehensive, consistent and effective external action. However, as exemplified by the role that the refugee crisis played in the recent Brexit vote, Europeans do not always conceive the EU as a device of security and stability in the contemporary world. At the same time, recent Brexit-related events or the EU's retaliation against the US aggressive tariff policy suggest that the EU's negotiating leverage may be stronger than some have initially thought. Against this backdrop, the course will provide a thorough analysis of the new legal provisions and offer a critical review of their efficacy. Special attention will be given to areas of increasing importance such as climate change; human rights; trade; development; or finance. Throughout the course, a central theme will be the accurate delineation of competences which will further be elucidated through extensive recourse and study of the relevant CJEU case-law. The course follows a case-law based approach to map the EU competences and clarify the scope of the EU external action. During the classes, parallels are drawn with the EU internal market law, when applicable.
Type of instructions


Type of exams
Take-home exam(80%)

Course available for exchange students
Available for all levels
Contact person
prof. dr. P. Delimatsis
Timetable information
EU external Relations
Required materials
Recommended materials
Take-home exam (80%)

Final Result

Presentation (20%)

Kies de Nederlandse taal