Extensive knowledge of the EU institutional system is fundamental within the framework of the Official Master's Degree in European Union Studies (Multilevel European Integration and Fundamental Rights). It is a basic premise to understanding how EU law is created and how Member States, EU Institutions and EU citizens take part in that process. Knowledge of the EU institutional machinery helps to understand how and why EU policies are made. Mere knowledge of the content of EU policies does not suffice to capture the dynamics of the EU system. Familiarity with institutional issues is necessary in order to grasp the dynamics of policy-making and to predict the outcome of any given project.
The course will have a theoretical and a practical dimension. The study of the legal foundations of each Institution is to be supplemented with a view of its internal workings and of the influence of case-law in circumscribing its powers. Specific approaches to each Institution will be followed by a study of inter-institutional relations, which will result in an overview of the system operating as a whole. A stocktaking exercise of institutional issues will then be possible. The student will thus be ready to consider the convenience or viability of various projects of institutional reform.
On the other hand, a proper understanding of the EU Institutional system is the right avenue to capture the specific features of this International Organization. The EU system of political power does not conform to classic constitutional models (Centralism, Federalism, Regionalism, Confederation, etc). The balance of power among EU Institutions hardly fits into the traditional systems of division of powers adopted by Member States through their own Constitutional Law. Grasping this fact is key if one is to view the EU as it is, to expect what can be expected and to understand the EU from a democratic perspective.
This course is targeted to actual or future professionals with a diversity of profiles: EU Law experts, International Law experts, EU civil servants, National or Regional civil servants dealing with EU issues, Diplomats. It can also be useful to managers and decision-makers working for political organizations and private or public companies. The course is also valuable to members of the legal profession, as lawyers and judges must deal with EU law on a daily basis. Finally, special regard will be paid to students interested in conducting research on EU Law, EU policies and international relations from the EU perspective.