1010 Advanced Issues of European Business Law
Sophie Bohnert, LL.M. (WU & College of Europe), BSc (WU)
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/02/22 to 10/17/22
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 10/27/22 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM D3.0.225
Thursday 11/03/22 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM D3.0.225
Thursday 11/10/22 12:00 PM - 04:00 PM D3.0.233
Thursday 11/17/22 12:00 PM - 04:00 PM D3.0.233
Thursday 11/24/22 12:00 PM - 04:00 PM D3.0.233
Friday 12/02/22 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM TC.5.05

This course is aimed at both regular WU students (Bachelor Program in Business, Economics and Social Sciences and English Bachelor Program in Business and Economics, "BBE") as well as incoming international students. This course proposes an integrated study of EU law, which means that it puts an emphasis on the interplay of institutional and substantive EU law. This course also seeks to embed the legal analysis within the social and political context, in which the law emerges and operates. The course provides an insight into some of the core areas of EU economic law. The course introduces students to the EU's economic constitution as well as the foundations of internal market law (the fundamental freedoms), the essentials of EU competition law, the basics of WTO law, and the legal and institutional framework governing the EU's external economic relations.

PLEASE NOTE: While it is, in principle, possible to attend this course on a stand-alone basis, it builds on and further develops some of the topics discussed in "European Law and Economics", held by Dr. Katrin Forgó (#317 and #925, respectively). For regular WU students, both courses, taken together, form the elective module or specialisation "European Economic Law" (Wahlfach "Europäisches Wirtschaftsrecht"). As these courses take place consecutively, it is possible to attend both of them in the same term.

What is an elective subject?

Students of the Bachelor Program in Business, Economics and Social Science have to choose out of several "elective subjects" with "European Economic Law" being one of them.

What is a specialisation?

Students of the BBE Program choose from a variety of specializations in phase 3 of the bachelor’s program. BBE students have to complete specializations totalling 40 ECTS credits. The specialization “European Economic Law” is worth 10 ECTS credits in total (i.e. in order to complete the specialization students must attend the courses “European Law and Economics” and “Advanced Issues of European Business Law”). For further information on how to choose and combine your specializations, please visit the university’s website on specializations.

Learning outcomes

The overarching goal of the course is to further students' understanding of the legal and economic problems of regional integration based on the example of the EU. Course participants gain a deeper understanding of EU law in general and of the legal framework for cross-border business activities in particular:

  1. Students acquire the ability to critically assess the EU's role as a player in international economic affairs.
  2. Students acquire the ability to join current legal and policy debates on EU external action in international economic law.
  3. Students develop an in-depth understanding of current controversies in EU external action.

Moreover, the course promotes the following more general skills:

  1. Students develop the necessary skill set to read and analyse case law. They learn how to distil essential information and to write short case briefs.
  2. Students improve their skills of legal reasoning by being provided guidance on solving cases in selected fields of EU economic law. This includes the ability to identify relevant legal sources and to both produce and defend a line of argument in writing (via the written exam) and orally (via active in-class participation and group work).
  3. Students learn how to autonomously identify and effectively synthesise problems and to present adequate solutions.

Attendance requirements

This is a course with continuous assessment of student performance (prüfungsimmanent, PI). This means attendance is, in principle, mandatory. You may miss one class (i.e., 4 hrs) without providing any reasons. Absence in excess of one class will only be permissible exceptionally. Please get in touch with the lecturer as soon as possible and provide serious reasons for your absence in line with Section 3 para 7 of the university's Examination Regulations. Clashes in individual students' class schedules do not normally qualify as a serious reason within the meaning of the Examination Regulations.

Please note that you must not miss the first class. Should you be unable to attend, please get in touch with the lecturer before the first session. If you fail to contact your lecturer beforehand, you will be de-registered from the course.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The format of the course will combine lectures, case studies, guided self-study of selected textbook chapters, and student presentations.

Advanced Issues of European Business Law is a course with continuous assessment (PI) which combines elements of a traditional lecture with those of a seminar or tutorial, thereby enabling students to develop an advanced understanding of the topics covered. Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the topics of each class (see below) in advance.

The language of instruction is English.


Student performance is evaluated on the basis of three performance components:

  1. active class participation (30%),
  2. online questions (30%),
  3. and a final exam (40%).

Grading scale:
100-87.5 % (points) = Sehr gut/very good/1
87-75 % (points) = Gut/good/2
74.5-63 % (points) = Befriedigend/satisfactory/3
62.5-50 % (points) = Genügend/sufficient/4

<50 % (points) = Nicht genügend/not sufficient/5

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

This course is aimed at both regular WU students as well as incoming international students.


For students of the Bachelor Program in Business, Economics and Social Sciences, there is no formal knowledge-based admission requirement. However, attention is drawn to the fact that students from both inside and outside the EU usually attend this course and therefore EU-related background knowledge may differ considerably. Especially those students who have not been in touch with "European issues" so far are thus advised to study  a general introductory textbook on European Law (e.g. Anthony Arnull, European Union law: a very short introduction [OUP  2017]).

For students of the BBE Program, there are the following admission requirements: Students need to complete 42 ECTS credits of the core courses and 12 ECTS of the introductory courses, before being able to register for this specialisation. This will most likely be the case at the end of semester 2 or in semester 3.

1 Author: Catherine Barnard/Steve Peers

European Union Law

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition: 3rd ed
Remarks: A sufficient number of textbook copies is available at the textbook collection located on level 2 in the Central Library (Lehrbuchsammlung).
Year: 2020
Content relevant for class examination: Yes
Recommendation: Essential reading for all students
Type: Book
2 Author: Peter Van den Bossche/Denise Prévost

Essentials of WTO Law

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Edition: 2
Remarks: A sufficient number of textbook copies is available at the textbook collection located on level 2 in the Central Library (Lehrbuchsammlung).
Year: 2021
Content relevant for class examination: Yes
Content relevant for diploma examination: Yes
Recommendation: Strongly recommended (but no absolute necessity for purchase)
Type: Book
Recommended previous knowledge and skills
Please see above.
Availability of lecturer(s)


Students will be required to access legal texts and scholarly articles, and will be asked to solve online question. Therefore, we advise students to bring along an electronic device, which they should be comfortable using.

If students wish to acquire a collection of the relevant legal texts, we recommend Blackstone’s EU Treaties & Legislation, or, in case students prefer a German language collection of legal texts, the Kodex Europarecht.


Course Material

Lecture slides will be made available online (see “Learning activities”), as will be all mandatory readings.

Students can also find weekly updated content such as important judgments, journal and newspaper articles, videos, background information etc on the university's learning platform (MyLearn). This content will be flagged as non-mandatory. These materials are designed to enable interested students to engage more deeply with the topics of the course.

Unit details
Unit Date Contents

Introductory Session; Internal Market Law I

  1. Introduces to course design and grading;
    • Course overview;
    • Organisational questions;
    • A guide to the study and analysis of case law;
  2. Introduces to EU's economic constitution, the internal market, and philosophies of market integration;
    • Fundamentals of EU law;
    • Overview of EU legal instruments.

Internal Market Law II

  1. Introduces to general principles of internal market law (including the structure and adderssees of the four freedoms as well as exceptions to the free movement rules);
  2. Provides an insight into the essentials of the customs union and the free movement of goods (including material scope of application, restrictions).

Internal Market Law III

  1. Provides an overview of the other fundamental freedoms (free movement of natural and legal persons, freedom of provision of services, and freedom of capital movements);
  2. Provides an in-depth discussion of the free movement of capital (including a discussion of the special features of personal and geogrpahical scope, restrictions, notably national investment screening regimes and their interrelationship with the EU's FDI Screening Regulation, exceptions, and justifications).

EU Competition Law

  1. Discusses meaning of term "competition" and elaborates why we need "competition" and "competition law" in the internal market;
  2. Introduces to the EU competition law framework, including Articles 101 and 102 TFEU as well as the European Merger Regulation.

International Economic Law and EU External Action

  1.  Introduces the WTO as an international organisation, provides an overview of WTO legal instruments;
  2. Provides an introduction to the Agreement on Trade in Goods ("GATT");
  3. Presents selected issues of the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism;
  4. Introduces the basic principles of EU external action and the EU as a WTO member.

Exam Prep

  1. Re-cap of basics of legal case-solving;
  2. Q & A.

Exam and Concluding Session

Last edited: 2022-09-30