European Union law and national legal systems

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Admission: academic qualifications and interview
  • Coordinator: prof. Giovanni De Cristofaro
  • Head office: Università di Ferrara
  • Web: homepage
  • Department: Giurisprudenza
  • Study abroad: at least 3 months
  • Educational purpose: in  the perspective of the internalisation of teaching activities pursued as primary objective by our University, the PhD in “European Union Law and national legal systems” is a high-qualified scientific school. It is formed of two curricula, both focusing on a plurality of subjects, all of which displaying a direct or indirect European relevance.
    More in detail, the firs curriculum aims at training professional legal experts on the general issues related to the Europeanization of law. The PhD candidate could then focus on the issues concerning the institutional framework of European integration or concerning the constitutional problems stemming from the relationship between national, supranational and international legal systems, with special focus on fundamental rights protection; or on the multiple issues related to the European legal integration in substantial and procedural criminal matters.
    In the view of training a legal professional expert on the general issues concerning the europeanisation of law, the second curriculum is intended to focus the issues related to specific EU policies, implemented by means of secondary law sources, directly applicable in the national legal system or to be transposed into national law.
    The final objective of the Phd is that of training a legal expert fully aware of the complex issues related to the European integration process.
  • Curriculum
    1) Sources of law, institutions and fundamental rights protections
    2) Policies of the European Union
  • Educational plan: the PhD in “EU Law and National Legal System” has an intense interdisciplinary approach, including all the fundamental legal fields involved in the European integration process. The PhD candidate, with the help of individual supervisors and of the entire teaching staff, will firstly in-depth investigate the specific issue of their research, with the view to completing the doctoral thesis. In order to endorse such investigation, at the same time offering the PhD candidates the methodological skills necessary to become European legal experts, the PhD organization foresee a number of coordinate activities: courses common to the undergraduate program, with specific reference to the teaching activities in English language and to the courses strictly related to the legal science Europeanization; series of lessons held by the members of the teaching staff,   by members of other PhD schools teaching staff linked by cooperation agreements and by renowned scholars (academic professors, judges of European Courts, high officers of the European institutions); interdisciplinary session aimed at the interaction and confrontation between PhD candidates in different subjects. The PhD school include compulsory periods of research abroad, at high qualified foreign Universities or supranational institutions, suitable for the completing of the cultural and technical skills of the candidates.
  • Research topics:
    1.1 General Issues of European Integration. Building of European Union and institutional context. – Relationship between the Court of Justice and national judicial authorities. – Economic governance and the single currency system. – External initiatives and affairs and common foreign and security policy.
    1.2 Constitutional Law, European Integration, Individual Rights Protection. Relationship between legal systems and sources of the law. – Theory of Constitution and sovereignty. – Form of State and form of government. – Constitutional, European and international protection of civil and social rights. – Legal theory and interpretation/application of the charters of individual rights. – Constitutional court, European Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights: procedural rules, effects of the decisions, interactions and connections.
    1.3 The influence of EU law on national criminal law (the principle of conforming interpretation, the reference to EU law by national provisions, the disapplication of national law). – European punitive law: centralized and decentralized sanctions. – The role of the European Court of Justice in the outset and development of European Criminal Law. – The supranational principles and individual rights (EU and ECHR): their implementation and effects on the national and EU punitive systems. – The evolution of the European criminal policy from the Treaty of Maastricht to the Treaty of Lisbon. – The current EU “autonomous” and “accessorial” competence in criminal law. The system of criminal law sources and the related legislative sectors.
    1.4 Criminal procedure and European Integration. Right to fair trial under the Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and EU fundamental rights. – The principle of procedural legality. – Harmonization of procedural institutions and rules. – Criminal trial and protection of fundamental freedom . – Instruments of judicial and police cooperation. – Mutual recognition of judicial decisions. – Rules of accommodation of the conflicts of jurisdiction and European ne bis in idem.
    2.1 Internal Market and approximation of the laws of the Member States. Establishment of the internal market: negative integration and positive integration - Free movement of goods - Customs union and origin of goods –  Common Customs Tariff - Prohibition of custom duties and charges having equivalent effect and permissible charges  – Prohibition of quantitative restrictions and measures having equivalent effect - Grounds of derogation under Art. 36 TFEU - Free movement of person: free movement of workers and freedom of establishment – Free movement of capital and payments- Freedom to provide services – Harmonisation of national legislation – Legal basis for harmonisation - Impact of harmonization measures – Harmonisation under Articles 114 and 115 TFEU.
    2.2 Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – Evolution and reform of the CAP - Support to farmers and direct payments – Measures on Agricultural Structures and rural development support – Common organization of agricultural markets - Agri-environmental measures and agrobioenergy -  Biotechnology in agriculture and novel foods - Common fisheries policy - European Food law- Principles and rules of European Food Law - EU rules on food production - EU rules on marketing of foods - EU and international rules, and its domestic implementation, on Food Safety - EU and international rules on Food Security – The European Food Safety Authority.
    2.3 Protection of Consumers and EU Private Law rules on contracts and obligations. Consumer contracts - Advertising and Commercial practices - Safety of products and services - Protection of collective interests of consumers - Alternative dispute resolution schemes for consumer disputes - Commercial Transactions and Contracts relating to financial services - EU initiatives for the Harmonization of the private law  rules of the Member States concerning contracts and obligations.
    2.4 Competition Policy. Competition rules applying to undertakings  and  obligations of the Member States –  Concept of “undertaking” – Prohibited agreements – Investigation by the Commission - Abuse of dominant position – Procedures for applying the Articles 101 and 102 TFEU - Control of concentrations - Public undertakings and services of general interests – Aids granted by States – Concept of State Aid - Prohibited Aid and derogations – The principle of incompatibility and derogations -  Services of general economic interest –  Supervision of the Commission -Existing Aid – New Aid – Intervention by the Council.
    2.5 Transport Policy. Inland transport, Shipping and Air Ttransport – General Principles – Transport infrastructure – Competition rules and Market operation – Structural harmonisation – Safety Rules – Passenger Rights – International relations.
    2.6 Judicial cooperation in civil matters. The emergence of a European “system” of private and procedural international law - The European Union as a “global” player in the field of private and procedural international law - The private and procedural international law of the European Union in the area of contracts and non-contractual obligations - The private and procedural international law of the European Union in the area of family relations - The implementation of treaty-based and supranational rules of private and procedural international law within the domestic legal order - The influence of fundamental human rights on the private and procedural international law of the European Union.
    2.7 Tax Provisions. EU Common principles and taxation law – Territoriality and taxation – Fundamental freedoms and direct taxation – Harmonised taxation of passive income – EU tax rules for Cross border mergers and acquisitions  - Corporation mobility within the EU and “Exit Taxation” – Tax on consumption, turnover taxes and the common system of value added tax – EU Customs law – Harmonised excise duties – State aid and taxation – Human rights and national fiscal provisions.
    2.8 Employment and Social Policy. Freedom of movements of workers and citizens - Principles of equality and non-discrimination - Family friendly policies - Health and safety at work (including Working time and Atypical workers) - Crisis and restructuring of the undertaking (including insolvency of  employer; transfers of undertakings; collective redundancies) - Information, consultation and workers participation – European Social Dialogue. - The relationship of social legislation (including freedom of association, collective bargaining and collective action) with The Four Freedoms of internal market in the light of the principle of undistorted competition.  – Social Protection and Social Inclusion.
    2.9 Enviroment and Energy. Origin and development of the EU Environmental Law: from International Environmental law  to the European Environmental law - The rules of the EU primary law - The objectives of European Environmental policy and the EU environmental principles: origin and application - The secondary EU legislation. Overview of the main action areas of EU environmental policy in the light of the new EU Environment Action Programme to 2020 - The development of the EU primary law in the energy sector: from the founding Treaties to the current Art. 194 TFEU - The secondary EU legislation in renewable energy sector.
    2.10 Common Commercial Policy. Legal basis and principles – Trade in goods - Trade in services and intellectual property-  Procedure  defining the framework for implementing the common commercial policy and the procedure  apply to negotiation and conclusion of agreements with third countries or international organizations - Exclusive competence of the EU – Autonomous measures: import and export regime and protective measures -  From GATT to WTO – The WTO Agreements.