European Union Law - 1st semester


The aim is to familiarize students with the European Union (EU), from the point of view of its genesis and the main milestones of its historical evolution, as well as of its fundamental values, attributions and powers and the human, material, and budgetary means.
It is necessary to provide, on the one hand, an overview of the EU institutional framework, its fundamental principles and its decision-making procedures. This includes an analysis of the EU institutions from the point of view of their formation, composition, competence and functioning. On the other hand, it is necessary to give an overview of the legal framework of
the EU and in particular of its system of sources of law, including the impact EU law produces in the legal orders of the Member States, according to certain methods and application techniques.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Francisco Pereira Coutinho (FD/UNL)


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Ana Maria Guerra Martins, Manual de Direito da União Europeia, Almedina, Coimbra, 2012;
Alessandra Silveira e Mariana Canotilho (coord.), Carta dos Direitos Fundamentais da União Europeia, Almedina, Coimbra, 2013
D. Chalmers, G. Davies, G. Monti, European Union Law – Cases and Materials, 2ª
ed., Cambridge, 2011
Fausto de Quadros, Direito da União Europeia, 3ª Edição, Almedina, 2013
J. H. H. Weiler, “The Transformation of Europe” in The Yale Law Journal, vol. 100, 1991, p. 2405-2483;
Maria Luísa Duarte, União Europeia, Almedina, Coimbra, 2011;
Miguel Gorjão-Henriques, Direito da União, Almedina, Coimbra, 6.ª edição, 2010;
Nuno Piçarra (coord.), A União Europeia segundo o Tratado de Lisboa, reimpressão, Almedina, Coimbra, 2013;
Paul Craig e Gráinne De Búrca, The Evolution of EU Law, 2ª Edição, Oxford 2011
Paul Magnette, What is the European Union? Nature and Prospects, Nova Iorque, 2005;
T. C. Hartley, The Foundations of European Union Law, Oxford University Press, 7.ª ed., 2010

Teaching method

Doctrinal lessons where the teacher present the syllabus. In these lessons the students are invited to participate by asking questions and making comments.

Evaluation method

Students are assessed by one mandatory written exam. Optional written essays and oral presentations have a maximum of 10% increase in the final grade.

Subject matter

Part I - The main steps of the evolution of European Integration
1. From the Coal and Steel Community to the Lisbon Treaty
Part II - The Identity of the European Union
2. Objectives, values and core principles
3. Fundamental Rights.
4. The european citizenship.
Part III – The Institutional organization of the European Union
5. Competences
6. Subsidiarity and proportionality
7. Institutions.
8. Decision-making procedures.
Parte IV – The Legal Order of the European Union
9. Sources of European Union law.
10. European Union law and national law.
11. The jurisdictional system of the European Union.


Programs where the course is taught: