European Constitutional Law: National Identities Between Unity and Plurality

The EU is set to soon achieve a union among the peoples of Europe – at the same time, national, constitutional, cultural, and linguistic identities are to be preserved and respected. It is the fragility of and seemingly contradictory relationship between legitimate national and supranational, legal and political authorities that we will try to understand from a legal perspective.

Course periodJune 20, 2022 - July 15, 2022 Session I
Category Law & Economics
Course levelsBachelor
Class size

max. 15 participants

Credits and certificate

Participants will receive 5 ECTS credit points and a certificate if they attend regularly (at least 80% attendance) and participate actively. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-University.

Application deadline May 15, 2022, or when participant quota is reached This course is fully booked.
Course fee730.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)


The EU is set to achieve an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe and at the same time bound to respect national cultural, linguistic and also national constitutional identities. How can these two seemingly opposing aims be properly accommodated? Who is claiming to have the last word about it? What are the challenges and where lie the possible boundaries of the European legal integration?

The course will be combined from four thematic parts. First, it will take a look into the basic features of a modern liberal democratic nation-state and its constitutional commitments. Second, it will examine the foundations of the EU, its governing principles and values and its sui generis nature as a supranational form. Third, it will highlight a notion of national constitutional identity from a national as well as from the European perspective. And finally, it will delve into the questions of resistance and dissent in legal theory and try to find parallels with an uneasy relation between the Member States and the EU.


Syllabus (PDF)

Course structure

Academic lessons

  • You will receive a total of 45 contact hours (one contact hour equals 45 minutes; 11 contact hours per week).
  • The lessons are held three times a week.
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions.


Schedule (Track C)

Tuesday: 1.30 pm – 3 pm & 3.30 pm – 5 pm
Wednesday: 1.30 pm – 3 pm & 3.30 pm – 5 pm
Friday: 9 am – 10.30 am & 11.00 am – 11.45 am


Cultural extra-curricular activities:

HUWISU offers a fine selection of interesting extra-curricular activities and aims to give all participants an unforgettable stay in Berlin. Your program includes excursions, sport activities and social gatherings providing you the opportunity to get to know the city, the university and your classmates better and to meet students from all parts of the world. The costs for these offers are included in the course fees.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Boat trip, Beach Volleyball, Exhibitions, Farewell Party…

Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

Undergraduate law students and students of other academic backgrounds with a strong interest in the course topic.

This course is taught in English, including readings in English. For the understanding of the texts and the discussions in class a language level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required.

Participating students need to be at least 18 years old.

Mr. Jakob Gašperin, univ. dipl. iur., LLM

Jakob Gašperin, univ. dipl. iur. (Ljubljana), LLM (Humboldt), is a PhD candidate at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and afiliated member of the Doctoral Programme »Unity and Difference in the European Legal Area« (EPEDER) at Humboldt European Law School (HELS). 

Jakob had been studying law in Slovenia (at Ljubljana University) and in the Netherlands (at Utrecht University) and has completed his master studies in German and European law in Berlin (at HU). Subsequent to few years of working in an international law firm he is currently doing a PhD research under the supervision of professor Mattias Kumm in the field of European law, constitutionalism and jurisprudence with the specific focus on national constitutional identities and European constitutional pluralism, wherein he has researched several months at European University Institute in Florence (EUI).

Jakob speaks fluently Slovenian, German and English and has working knowledge of French and Croatian / Serbian.

CoordinatorPierre Steuer/ Carmen Opolski/ Sanja Müssig
Contact detailsInternational Department
Unter den Linden 6
10999 Berlin

This course can be combined with: