At the beginning of the Master Programme four basic modules devoted to the legal, economic and political aspects of European integration have to be attended by all students collectively. In addition to these basic modules, all students – irrespective of their choice of specialisation, shall submit an academic master thesis.
Introductory module: Methodology, scientific work and legal traditions
The EU as a Legal Community
This module deals with the institutional and substantive principles and regulations of European Community law stemming from the founding treaties and other primary law, in particular the constitutional conventions common to the Member States and the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights, the legal acts of the Community institutions, and other acts of secondary law as well as court decisions, in particular those from the European Court of Justice.
This module also covers the constitutional foundations of the EU and the European integration process, with special emphasis on institutional legal aspects (relationship between Community law / national law, institutions, democracy, transparency, substantive due process, federalism, Union citizenship, enforcement of Community law, legal protection, etc.).
The EU as an Economic Community
Content of this module is the economic advantages of a cross-border division of labor. Building on this, European integration in the form of a single market and economic and monetary union will be examined in order to assess to what extent it unlocks these advantages and which economic and political implications are associated with them. Furthermore, (economic) policy options will be dealt with that are available to the EU both internally and in other economic areas in order to successfully assert itself in regional competition and increase the prosperity of its citizens.
The EU as a Political Community
This module deals with the historical and intellectual foundations of European integration. Individual stages of development of the European integration process from the phase after World War II to the present will be reviewed. The setup, institutional structure, and theory-driven interpretations and analytical concepts of the Community will be considered from a political science perspective. The analysis also focuses on the framework conditions under which the EU acts as a political actor internationally and pursues its interests in global competition.
Public International Law and International Organizations
This module covers the fundamentals of general and treaty-based international law as the framework and instruments of the EU’s external political relations with third countries and other subjects of international law. The module also covers the basics of the law of international organizations as a framework and instrument of the EU’s external relations.
The candidate shall prepare a master thesis. This paper shall demonstrate the ability to undertake independent research in the field of the Master Programme.
Fields of Specialisation
During the subsequent specialisation phase students have the opportunity to study one of the following elective specialisation fields in depth:
- International Relations of the EU and
- European Business Law.
Each specialisation field consists of four modules. The range of specialisation fields may vary from academic year to academic year depending on the interests of the applicants.
International Relations of the EU
In the elective specialisation field A ‘International Relations of the EU’ the international relations of the European Union are analysed.
Legal External Relations of the EU
The content of the module is the design and functioning of the legal framework for international economic relations (GATT and WTO) as well as its economic rationality. Furthermore, legal and economic problems of a further development of the world trade order are dealt with, especially under the aspect of how the EU can and should influence this development. Furthermore, the legal aspects of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP/CSDP), as well as the EU’s migration and refugee law are dealt with. A high level of practical relevance is achieved through topical and application-oriented questions.
Economic External Relations of the EU
This module covers the EU’s trade and association policy relations with non-EU countries and economic areas. The distribution of competences between the Union and the Member States and their institutions is an important subject of the analysis. Practical relevance is highlighted through the analysis of current practical issues.
Political External Relations of the EU
This module deals with the EU’s relations with European and non-European third countries and economic areas in the form of development policy, including enlargement and neighborhood policy, and their interdependencies and synergy effects. Furthermore, the historical development and value orientation of the EU’s external relations are analyzed on a theory-based basis. The characteristics of foreign policy competencies and contents in the individual policy areas are examined individually. Furthermore, the (common) migration policy is considered in detail. A high level of practical relevance is established through current and application-oriented questions.
European Business Law
The increasing relevance of business law led to the inception of the elective specialisation field B ‘European Business Law’.
Working and Operation in borderless Spaces
The content of this module is the social aspects of the organization of companies. It involves a comprehensive discussion of Union law based on a legal comparison of national company law systems. Also content of this module are the labor and social law regulations that determine the position of employees in the internal market and the behavior of companies towards employees. A high level of practical relevance is achieved through the involvement of professional practitioners on current issues relevant to the module.
Fair Competition and Secure Investments
The content of this module is competition law and competition policy, the tension between the exclusive rights granted by the legal system to companies with regard to industrial property rights and copyrights of companies and the Community system of undistorted competition as the basis of the internal market in the EU. In addition to the legal basis of intellectual property, the economic justification of these exclusive rights is also discussed. Furthermore, international investment protection law and the corresponding arbitration practice are also dealt with in this context.
Business Organization and Transnational Business Activities
This module deals with the various forms of corporate financing and entrepreneurial activities in a European and international context. The economic significance and the essential regulatory structures of the European and international capital markets are examined as well as the economic motives and legal aspects of cross-border activities of companies. The module also covers aspects of business administration, institutional economics and taxation that are relevant to the organization and activities of companies. The interactions of these aspects with each other as well as their effects on the behavior of the actors (EU, member states, companies) significantly involved in the realization of the internal market for companies are dealt with.