MEELS students with Advocate General Prof. Dr. Juliane Kokott at the Court of Justice of the European Union in LuxembourgFrom June 14-19, the students of the Master Programme European and European Legal Studies (MEELS) visited numerous European institutions in Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Brussels. They were accompanied by the Director of Studies, Prof. Dr. Markus Kotzur, and the Programme Coordinators John Beuren and Christina Simmig.

At their first stop in Strasbourg, the students gained insight into the cooperation of the Council of Europe with non-European countries regarding transnational problems such as cybercrimes. In the afternoon, the students had the opportunity to ask questions at the European Court of Human Rights about its workflow and the enforcement of sentences in practice. In particular, they discussed different approaches to reduce the well-documented, immense backlog of work and demonstrated recent progress.

“The trip to Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Brussels was one of the highlights of the programme. Visiting the EU institutions and listening to many inspiring talks of people active in different fields put the knowledge we learned so far into a practical perspective. I equally enjoyed visiting these three amazing cities as it gave an idea as to what it would be like to live and work there. This journey definitely confirmed my passion for EU affairs and made me aware of the enthusiastic, inspiring and engaged people behind the EU institutions. An experience to never forget!”

Celien Coltura (Class of 2015)

The visit at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg on the next day was interesting, as well. In addition to attending an oral hearing, the students had the chance to meet, among others, Prof. Dr. Juliane Kokott, Advocate General at the Court and to ask questions regarding her work. The visit at the court demonstrated the challenges that come with the jurisdiction of the Court for 28 Member States and with 24 different languages.

Their last stop in Brussels put emphasis on current topics in particular. Experts of the European Commission und the Council took time to explain the EU’s course of action in recent situations such as the Ukraine conflict and negotiations about TTIP which was followed by a Q&A session to answer students’ critical inquiries.