European Constitutional Law

Triantafyllia (Lina) Papadopoulou



1.   Introduction to European Constitutional Law
2.   Are the Treaties the ‘Constitution’ of the Union?
3.   What kind of democracy for the Union? Is there a democratic deficit?

  1. The notion of representative democracy in the Union (Art. 10 Treaty of European Union).
  2. Citizens’ participation to the political governance of the Union (Art. 11 Treaty of EU).
  3. The role of national parliaments in the EU (Art. 12 Treaty of EU) and Protocol

4.   European Citizenship.
5.   Constitutional principles: Subsidiarity.
6.   Towards the Constitutionalisation of the Area of Freedom, Security & Justice.
7.   Institutions:

  1. The Council,
  2. The President,
  3. The Commission,
  4. The Parliament.

8.   Separation of powers.
9.   The Relationship between EU law and national constitutions.
10. The Economic Constitution of the Union.
11. CFSP-EU external relations.
12. Relationship between EU law and national Constitutions.
13. The Union and Fundamental Rights:

  1. the ECJ case-law,
  2. The Charter of Fundamental Rights as a new source of
CC - Attribution-ShareAlike

Instructor: Triantafyllia (Lina) Papadopoyloy, Associate Professor




Content Development Associate: Vasiliki Kokota

Course Syllabus
  • The EU as an international (or supranational?) organization.
  • The institutional framework of EU.
  • The European Union as a sui generis organization.
  • Can the European Union as a sui generis organization have a constitution?
  • The material Constitution of the EU.
  • Democracy and legitimacy of EU.
  • The protection of fundamental rights at EU level.
  • Judicial protection of individuals.
  • The European Citizenship.
  • The contribution of National Parliaments to the good functioning of the EU
Course Objectives/Goals

Understanding the functioning of the European Union. Relations between the Member States.
Constitutional principles and values common to European level.

Prerequisites/Prior Knowledge
  • There are no prerequisite courses.
  • Good knowledge of contitutional and EU law is desired for better understanding.
  1. Hermann-Josef Blanke, Stelio Mangiameli (eds), The European Union after Lisbon - Constitutional Basis, Economic Order and External Action, 2012.


Additional recommended literature

  1. Λ. Παπαδοπούλου, Εθνικό Σύνταγμα και Κοινοτικό Δίκαιο, το ζήτημα της υπεροχής, Κέντρο Ευρωπαϊκού Συνταγματικού Δικαίου "Ίδρυμα Θεμιστοκλή και Δημήτρη Τσάτσου", Αντ. Σάκκουλα, 2009
  2. Ernst Haas, The Obsolescence of Regional Integration Theory, Berkeley CA: University of California Press 1975.
  3. K. Nicolaïdes,  The New Constitution as European Demoi-cracy?, The Federal Trust 2003.
  4. European Constitutionalism Beyond the State, Weiler/Wind (eds), CUP 2003.
Target Group

Erasmus students and foreign speakers with interests on European and constitutional law, international relations and political science.


  1. What is the European Union?
  2. The History of European Union.

Keywords: European union, sui generis, cooperation

  1. Competences between EU and MS.
  2. Main Principles.
  3. The EU institutions.

Keywords: European institutions, double majority, EU parliament

  1. Main terms and definitions.
  2. Meaning of a European Constitution according to the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.

Keywords: European union, sui generis, cooperation

  1. What is a Constitution?
  2. Are the Treaties the ‘Constitution’ of the Union?

Keywords: constitution, state, demos

  1. Constitutional values (substance).
  2. Constitutional principles (organizational).
    1. The principle of conferred powers.
    2. The principle of subsidiarity.
    3. The principle of proportionality.
    4. Flexibility.
  3. Constitutional principles (organizational and substantial).
  4. Liberty, democracy and rule of law.
  5. Protecting fundamental rights.

Keywords: formal constitution, material constitution, ideal constitution

  1. The legitimacy of EU:
    1. Output legitimacy.
    2. Input legitimacy.
    3. Triple legitimacy.
  2. The architecture of Lisbon Treaty.

Keywords: democracy, democratic legitimacy, principles

  1. The European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.
    1. Legal aspects.
  2. Relations between Charter and ECHR.
  3. Adhesion of EU to the European Convention on Human Rights.
  4. ECtHR v CJEU.  

Keywords: human rights, protection, EU Law

  1. Direct effect.
  2. Indirect effect.
  3. State liability.

Keywords: direct effect, indirect effect, liability

  1. Article 20 TFEU.
  2. Micheletti Judgement (1992).
  3. Rotmann Case (2010).
  4. The ‘Zambrano’ criterion.

Keywords: European Citizenship, freedom of movement, discrimination

  1. Article 12 of The Treaty of EU.
  2. Protocol 1 on the role of National Parliaments.
  3. Protocol 2 on the application of the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality.
  4. Yellow and orange card procedure.

Keywords: National Parliaments, European union, function

Open Academic Course

Open Courses
OpenCourses Level: A-

Num. of Visits :  5328
Num. of Hits :  30920