Institut d'etudes Européennes
De l'Université libre de Bruxelles

Asylum, Migration and Criminal Matters in the EU

The Area of Freedom, Security and Justice is one of the most recent policies launched by the European Union in 1999 by the Amsterdam Treaty, but it quickly became one the most important objectives of the European Union complementary to the internal market. Nowadays, it covers an enormous pack of legislations and has seen a proliferation of new agencies that are more or less important actors at EU level. It is a vivid area that has not only an internal but also an external dimension in relation with third countries. It attracts more and more attention from academics, policy makers and medias at national, European and international level and offers increasing professional opportunities.

The course covers the two main parts of this area: the policies on legal and illegal immigration (including visas and external borders) and asylum that will be given by Philippe DE BRUYCKER and the cooperation in criminal matters (police and judicial cooperation) that will be given by Anne WEYEMBERGH.


Learning objectives

  • To know the basic objectives and main components of these policies
  • To know the specificities of the institutional framework of these policies
  • To understand the methods used by the EU institutions to implement these policies
  • To be informed of some of the last important policy developments and/or future perspectives


Learning outcomes

  • To acquire a fair global knowledge and understanding of the subject of the course
  • To be aware of the main legal and political issues at stake in the area



  • Analysis in class of documents like directives or regulations, Commission communications, conclusions of (European) Council, decisions of the Court of justice,…
  • Interactive discussions about the content of these documents regarding their precise meaning but also place in the concerned policy
  • Readings of these documents are expected to be done by the participants before the courses in order to facilitate the discussion


Course requirements and grading:

  • To have a basic knowledge of the main principles and legal instruments of EU Law in the field
  • To have in particular a general understanding of the institutional framework of the European Union and the way it functions (rather than the composition of the EU institutions)
  • To know the difference between the EU and the Council of Europe and its organs to avoid basic confusions
  • To be present at the courses is highly recommended due to the complexity of the area and the difficulty to prepare the exam without having participated to the courses.
  • The exam that will be written will be divided in two separate parts (each for one professor marked on 10 points that are added to reach 20 points) and based on the critical analysis of a document or a simple practical case to solve.