LWMEGA-The European Union as a Global Actor

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Anne Thies

Email: a.thies@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module provides an overview of the current constitutional and institutional framework of EU external action. Class discussion and written work give students the opportunity to engage with a variety of legal issues regarding the EU as a global actor, including its interaction with the Member States as well as other subjects of the international (legal) order.

The module aims to help students develop the legal knowledge and skills they need in order to understand and deal with the European Union as a global actor. The module requires students to analyse Treaties, legislation, policy documents and case-law, to engage in discussion and produce written assignments. These skills are essential for EU/international practitioners’ work and in-depth studies of EU law in its political context. The module offers students a background in EU constitutional and institutional law to relate their knowledge to the external dimension of EU activities. At the same time, it aims to encourage students new to the field to analyse the political and legal framework in which EU Member States and/or EU institutions interact on the global stage with third states and other subjects of the international (legal) order. The module is specifically designed to complement other European and international law modules and provides students with a further range of topics that might help them to identify an area of interest and a research question for their LLM or MA dissertation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:
? identify, apply, analyse and critically evaluate the basics of the constitutional and institutional framework of EU external relations and action
? analyse contemporary questions of EU external relations law by using knowledge and tools of legal research developed in the preparation of seminars, written assignment and class discussion

Additional outcomes:
In addition to those listed in the School’s “core skills statement”, the module will encourage the development of:
? high-level oral communication skills through reflective, analytical class-discussion
? high-level writing skills through close and critical analysis of both primary and secondary source material
? an ability to apply theoretical and contextual knowledge to practical problems that face people working in the field

Outline content:
After introducing to some core aspects of EU law, the module explores a variety of EU external relations law topics such as: the EU and its Member States’ external relations competences; the impact of EU external powers on the Member States’ international scope for manoeuvre; the EU’s involvement in international treaty-making and implementation, including the adoption of mixed agreements in areas of shared competence; overview of the constitutional differences between “traditional” areas of EU external action (such as trade, development cooperation, humanitarian aid, neighbourhood policy) and the common foreign and security policy; the role of institutions after the Lisbon Treaty (such as the External Action Service, the High Representative and other EU institutions); the effect of international law in the EU legal order; the impact of UN Security Council Resolutions on the EU legal order; the EU legal framework for external crisis management and international cooperation; the legal challenges related to the refugee/migration crisis.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. The main elements are:
? a list of required and recommended readings, with notes and questions that will be used to guide class discussion and reflection.
? ten weekly seminar classes of 2 hours each. These are discussion-based classes and groups usually have between 8 and 20 students.
? assessed and optional non-assessed work that will be used to develop students’ skills and knowledge.
? an electronic discussion board will be available for students enrolled in this module.
? Guest speakers may be invited to some of the seminars.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
? 1 assessed essay of 15 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules).

Formative assessment methods:
Students will have the opportunity to submit an essay plan to the Module Convenor prior to submission of the assessed essay.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT Programme Handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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