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The Module


As recently stated by the European Commission, “sustainable development has since long been at the heart of the European project” (COM(2016) 793 final (p.2)). Not only do the EU Treaties recognize sustainable development as one of the overarching goals of the Union, but the Commission has also constantly sought to design adequate policy frameworks for translating this objective into secondary legislation, thereby ensuring consistency between the EU’s internal policies and between these, the EU’s external action, and the policies of its Member States.

Ever since the first European Union Sustainable Development Strategy, formulated in 2001, SD has therefore become an inescapable lens for the analysis of EU law. However, it appears that an integrated approach to the study of EU sectoral strategies, policies and programmes is still lacking in academic circles. More specifically, EU legal studies will require an increasing degree of interdisciplinarity and a cross-cutting assessment of the synergies and tensions between EU policies across the economic, social and environmental dimensions of SD, to reflect their growing complexity and interdependence.

Advancing such an integrated approach to the study of EU law is especially critical in the light of the recent adoption by the UN General Assembly of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Res. 70/1), whose 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets will represent the constant reference point for the design and implementation of the module. As the European Union moves towards the implementation of the Agenda, a process in which it intends to act as a ‘frontrunner’ (COM(2016) 739 final, p. 3), EU legal studies need to incorporate the Goals into their core activities, using them as both a research blueprint and a tool to promote knowledge and foster debate around legal solutions for sustainable development.

Against this background, the Jean Monnet module offered by the Department of Law of the University of Siena will not only provide students with notions about the emergence and evolution of the principle of sustainable development in international and EU law, but will also specifically analyse EU internal and external policies through the lens of the SDGs and the wider post-2015 framework. In doing so, it will bridge the gap between theory and practice by: (i) discussing concrete  sustainability-related cases and issues in class; (ii) engaging with experts and practitioners through open roundtable discussions; and (iii) launching a dedicated website, as well as a series of webinars that will facilitate the dissemination of teaching activities and promote dialogue with civil society, in collaboration with the Mediterranean branch of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) hosted at the University of Siena.

Panel 2

News and Events

2018/2019 Student Guide Published, EULawSD Keynote Lectures Announced

The EULawSD academic staff is pleased to announce the release of the 2018/2019 student guide for the Master’s Degree in Law of the University of Siena, which contains a series of useful information concerning the European Union Law and Sustainable Development teaching course. The Student Guide can be downloaded here. In this context, the Module … Continue reading 2018/2019 Student Guide Published, EULawSD Keynote Lectures Announced

EULawSD joins JM Summer School on Climate Change, Health and the Environment

The EULawSD team is pleased to announce that EULawSD academic coordinator, Prof Riccardo Pavoni, will join the Jean Monnet Summer School on “Climate Change, Health and the Environment“, taking place at the University of Salerno on 2-6 July 2018. Prof. Pavoni has been invited to teach “Legal protection of biodiversity and climate change” at the … Continue reading EULawSD joins JM Summer School on Climate Change, Health and the Environment

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Who we are