Courses 2021

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European Monetary Union

Claudia Kwapil/Kilian RiederJuly 19 – July 304 ECTS credits


In no other area has European integration advanced as much as in the monetary sphere. By joining the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), 19 countries of the European Union have given up their national currencies and their monetary sovereignty and have created a common monetary area with a joint central banking system (Eurosystem) and a common European currency (euro). On the one hand, the euro – in form of notes and coins – provides a strong common European symbol. On the other hand, it is a powerful policy instrument.


The financial, economic and debt crisis that has shaken up euro area countries revealed the power of monetary policy. Starting in 2008 the Eurosystem has implemented a series of unconventional monetary policy measures ranging from negative policy rates to asset purchase programs. More recently, during the COVID-19 crisis, monetary-policy support for the European economy was again in demand and the Eurosystem continued to expand its toolbox of unconventional monetary policy measures.


After having successfully completed the course, you will be able to answer the following questions: 

  • Origins and motivations for a European single currency
  • What is the Eurosystem’s monetary policy mandate, and why?
  • Is the European Monetary Union beneficial for all 19 countries forming it, or more so for some than for others, and why?
  • What are the necessary preconditions to make membership in a monetary union a success for a country?
  • What role does monetary policy play in the division of responsibilities between fiscal policy, structural polices as well as (micro- and macro-)prudential polices?
  • How do negative policy interest rates work?
  • How does monetary policy influence my daily life?
  • Will the ECB’s (and other central banks’) asset purchase programs create inflation?
  • What are future challenges for the ECB and for central banks at large?


Requirements: Active class participation (20%), mid-term exam (40%) and final exam (40%).


This course is regularly organized with the support of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).

The Institutional Framework of the European Union

Contrasting Theory and Practice

Andrea LenschowJuly 19 – July 304 ECTS credits


The course will focus on the unique political system of the European Union. Students will be introduced to the main institutions playing a role in the decision-making process and to some of the main decision-making procedures.

The course very much builds on the active participation of participants. Group work, debates and a simulation exercise form an integral part of the program.

The first part of the course will focus on the Institutional Framework of the EU by examining:

  • The main sources of EU Law and where relevant their repercussions on the institutional framework.
  • The role of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the Court of Justice of the European Union within the EU’s institutional framework (and where relevant their evolution during the process of European integration).

This section will be based on lectures, class discussions and debates on such critical questions as the quality of democracy in the EU and the rise of Euroscepticism.

The second part will concentrate on policy making within the European system by looking at:

  • Some of the main decision making procedures (with a focus on the ordinary legislative procedure, formerly co-decision)
  • The role of non-institutional actors such as interest groups and NGOs in the EU’s decision making process

This part will close with a simulation of a Council Working Party about an EU regulation (using authentic material), where students will either take on the role of an EU Member State or represent one of the EU institutions.

Requirements: Class participation, participation in the simulation as well as participation in joint seminars (30%), a 30 minute mid—term exam at the end of the first week (20%) and a final exam (50%). The final exam will consist of essay questions.

It is recommended to take this course in conjunction with Dr. Bernhard Schima’s course: European Union Law.

International Refugee Law and Policy

Andreas SchloenhardtJuly 19 – July 304 ECTS credits


This course explores international refugee law and policy in theory and practice.  It provides an introduction to the concepts and causes of refugee flows, the key features of international refugee law, its history, and explores the refugee situation and systems in a range of countries.  The course examines the international obligations under the Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and outlines the present laws and policies in relation to asylum seekers. The course also looks at irregular migration and forced migration more broadly with a special emphasis on smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.

The discussions, exercises, and working-group sessions during the course invite students to critically reflect on the situation of refugees and displaced persons, on the nature and objectives of international refugee law, and to understand the rationale of international, regional, and domestic policies in this field.  Moreover, the course seeks to improve communication, teamwork, argumentative, presentation, and research skills. The course enhances students’ abilities to research relevant material, critically analyze policy documents and legislation, case studies and scholarly writing, and elaborate practical recommendations for law reform and policy change.


Assessment: seminar exercises and participation (40% of final grade) and group project with oral presentation (60%).

European Private Law - The Civilian Tradition

Franz-Stefan MeisselJuly 19 – July 304 ECTS credits


The course offers a historical and comparative introduction to European Private Law.

Today’s variety of legal systems in Europe can't be properly understood without reference to European Legal History. Thus, one part of the course will be devoted to the development of European Private Law and the specific contribution of the Civilian Tradition. Particular attention is given to the dominant forces of law making in the different legal systems: magistrates and legal experts in Ancient Roman Law, professors and clergymen in Medieval Law, judges in the Common Law and legislators in Modern Continental Law.

Furthermore, basic concepts of Private Law such as property, good faith in contractual dealings and the role of fairness in extra contractual obligations will be dealt with in this course in a comparative perspective. This will be done mainly in form of discussions about specific cases. Special emphasis will be placed on the discussion of possible solutions, the analysis of court decisions and the evaluation of legislative choices.

A guest lecture by former Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) Prof. Verica Trstenjak will treat current issues of EU Private Law, outlining the pertinent legislation in the area of EU Consumer Protection Law and Copyrights, and presenting selected Case Law of the ECJ.


  • I. The Landscape of European Private Law: Diversity and Common Traditions
    • The various meanings of "European Private Law" and the Legal Traditions in Europe
    • Variations of a Theme: Transfer of Property in European Legal Systems
    • The Scope of Information Duties in Civil Law and in Common Law
    • Good Faith in European Contract Law
    • Extra contractual Obligations: the Witty Genealogist’s Case

  • II. Lawyers, Judges, Legislators. The Making of European Law
    • Roman and Medieval Law: The Jurists' Role in the Development of Law as a Science
    • Differences in Style and Substance: Codification(s) of Private Law in Continental Europe
    • Common Law and Civil Law: The Role of Judges as Law Makers

  • III. EU Private Law: Guest Lectures by Prof. Verica Trstenjak
    • EU Legislation in the Area of Consumer Protection and Copyrights
    • The Impact of the ECJ on the Evolution of EU Private Law


Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions (40%) and an open-book essay exam (60%

European Union Law

The Court of Justice of the EU and the Internal Market

Bernhard SchimaAugust 2 – August 134 ECTS credits


This course is designed to help students understand the system of judicial protection in European Union (EU) law and the importance of the contribution of the Court of Justice of the EU to the development of the Internal Market.

This course will:

  • discuss the various judicial remedies in the EU legal order with particular emphasis on the infringement procedure and the preliminary reference procedure;
  • explain the concept of an internal market;
  • explore how the Court of Justice in its case-law has contributed to making the free movement of goods, persons, services and capitals operational, and
  • look at the interplay between the Court's case-law and secondary Union legislation establishing the Internal Market.

Requirements: Performance will be assessed on the basis of a short quiz (30% of the grade) at the end of the first week and a written final exam (60%). Class participation will be taken into account (10%).

This course, which looks at European integration from a legal perspective, is recommended for students with prior knowledge of the institutions of the European Union or who have taken Andrea Lenschow's course: The Institutional Framework of the European Union.


Law and Information Society in Europe

Nikolaus ForgóAugust 2 – August 134 ECTS credits


This course will focus on European and global trends in the legal regulation of information and communication. Specific attention will be attributed to access to information, copyright, identity management and privacy in a globalized information society. We will work on the relevant European regulations, directives and case law and will compare them with other legal, technical and social approaches.



  • Law as Code and Code as Law? The relations between technical, social, economical and legal forms of regulation
  • Regulation of Information: The European approach
  • Transparency, Privacy and Data Protection: outdated concepts in an information society?
  • Identity, Authenticity and Security in a globalized network-environment


Recommended Reading: Lawrence Lessig, Code and other Laws of Cyberspace; additional texts and cases will be distributed throughout the course.


Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions (40%) and an open-book essay exam (60%).


This course is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Brandl & Talos.

EU Political Systems in a Comparative Perspective

Sylvia KritzingerAugust 2 – August 134 ECTS credits


This course familiarizes students with the major theoretical, empirical and substantive issues in contemporary European politics. First, the course examines the different governmental institutions, electoral systems and party systems across the member states of the European Union and their impact on political processes and the society. Second, it focuses on the different social cleavages in these political systems and their changes over time. Third, the course analyzes the recent electoral behavior of the European electorate both in national and European Parliament elections and its repercussions on European party systems. The course aims at deepening the understanding of the main debates in contemporary European politics using a comparative approach.

Requirements: Performance will be assessed on the basis of attendance and participation in class discussions (20%), a role play taking different party positions and government negotiations into account (40%) and a written final exam (40%).