EU LAW


Hi,
I have decided to study EU Law, and i would like to know which schools are the best in the field of EU law and which ones are considered the best in a sense that private practitioners in Brussels and EU COMMISSION would hire me instead of someone from a different school (and also vice versa, if there is any school you DO NOT recommend at all)?
I am on a budget so UK universities and College of Europe are not an option.
Any relevant information is welcome :)
Thanks.

PS: I only speak English and i would prefer to work in the field of Competition.
Hi,
I have decided to study EU Law, and i would like to know which schools are the best in the field of EU law and which ones are considered the best in a sense that private practitioners in Brussels and EU COMMISSION would hire me instead of someone from a different school (and also vice versa, if there is any school you DO NOT recommend at all)?
I am on a budget so UK universities and College of Europe are not an option.
Any relevant information is welcome :)
Thanks.

PS: I only speak English and i would prefer to work in the field of Competition.
quote
chrysl
Hi,
I have decided to study EU Law, and i would like to know which schools are the best in the field of EU law and which ones are considered the best in a sense that private practitioners in Brussels and EU COMMISSION would hire me instead of someone from a different school (and also vice versa, if there is any school you DO NOT recommend at all)?
I am on a budget so UK universities and College of Europe are not an option.
Any relevant information is welcome :)
Thanks.

PS: I only speak English and i would prefer to work in the field of Competition.


Hi Roki,
I don't think money should be overemphasized, since those schools provide quite a generous scholarships/tuition waivers. College of Europe is one of them, I would even say that majority of student do not pay anything/much of the costs. However, some knowledge of French is crucial (I think B1 or B2 level).
On the other hand, EC does not discriminate based on the school you attended.
Hope this helps
<blockquote>Hi,
I have decided to study EU Law, and i would like to know which schools are the best in the field of EU law and which ones are considered the best in a sense that private practitioners in Brussels and EU COMMISSION would hire me instead of someone from a different school (and also vice versa, if there is any school you DO NOT recommend at all)?
I am on a budget so UK universities and College of Europe are not an option.
Any relevant information is welcome :)
Thanks.

PS: I only speak English and i would prefer to work in the field of Competition.</blockquote>

Hi Roki,
I don't think money should be overemphasized, since those schools provide quite a generous scholarships/tuition waivers. College of Europe is one of them, I would even say that majority of student do not pay anything/much of the costs. However, some knowledge of French is crucial (I think B1 or B2 level).
On the other hand, EC does not discriminate based on the school you attended.
Hope this helps
quote
Thank you for your answer chrysl.
College of Europe was never my option (since I don't speak French and I've heard that it is almost impossible to get in with only 3 years bachelor degree with 180 ECTS) and neither was UK (rent + tuition fees are to expensive).

Do you maybe know any other good Universities in the field of European law (competition/business) that can compete with UK or COE? I have heard that Netherlands have some great EU law programmes like Amsterdam , Maastricht, Utrecht and also Lund, Sweden

Thanks again for you help
Thank you for your answer chrysl.
College of Europe was never my option (since I don't speak French and I've heard that it is almost impossible to get in with only 3 years bachelor degree with 180 ECTS) and neither was UK (rent + tuition fees are to expensive).

Do you maybe know any other good Universities in the field of European law (competition/business) that can compete with UK or COE? I have heard that Netherlands have some great EU law programmes like Amsterdam , Maastricht, Utrecht and also Lund, Sweden

Thanks again for you help


quote
beva
Hi Roki94,
it's been almost 2 yrs since your post, but did you manage to choose? I have the same dilemma nw.Thanks
Hi Roki94,
it's been almost 2 yrs since your post, but did you manage to choose? I have the same dilemma nw.Thanks
quote
MBL-FU
Hey Roki94 (and others), I think I can help out here. I studied in Germany (main), the UK and Netherlands and during my PhD I worked with the DG Comp for 3 months, in this time I have had close contact with the head of my unit (antitrust pharmaceuticals) but also with interns and bluebook trainees from different units. Additionally, I know quite a few people who have been to CoE, LSE, QMU, Amsterdam, Leiden and obviously a lot of German universities and I have worked for an American law firm in Brussels as a trainee during my studies.

With the Commission you will meet graduates from all over the EU, CoE is not nearly as omnipresent as you would think. You can see certain patterns, though. For instance, trainees from Eastern Europe almost always had an LL.M. from UK universities, German graduates usually from the US, students from Spain and Portugal frequently had a degree from France, students from Scandinavia, Netherlands, Austria and Greece frequently had degrees from Germany. In my experience, the EPSO test is absolutely paramount when applying to the Commission! Heads of unit don't even get the chance to look at your CV unless you manage to score high on the EPSO. Next in line is your exposure to the substance, for DG Comp an LL.M. in Competition/Antitrust counts a lot while DG Just will focus on general EU law etc. The third big criterion is languages: Theoretically, English, French and German are equal working languages of the Commission but de facto it's English, English and English ;-) You will find a lot of native speakers of German and French but as a working language, English is the gold standard. Don't get me wrong, you will work in a lot of different languages with the help of colleagues with various language skills, I worked on a single case where I had to get help with Portuguese, Italian, Bulgarian and Korean (on top of Dutch, French, German and English) but you're English skills are the most important part. Some units with DG Comp have a specific profile, i.e. half of the case handlers are Italian, and then specific languages - such as Italian - can be quite important. But unless you already know which unit you want to join (and I advice against this, since you won't know when they next need someone new) it's English ;-)

When it comes to universities and their reputation, I felt like there is a certain 'informal hierarchy' but it's less fine-grained as one might think. As I mentioned above, most students from Eastern Europe had an LL.M. from the UK or Germany and when I asked a Polish colleague about it he answered that the prestige of Germany, the UK, Scandinavia or the Netherlands (coupled with English-taught LL.M.s) was considered a 'must' to make it in Brussels. Similarly, for Students from the Iberian Peninsula (and even for some Italian trainees) France was a gateway to Brussels. Whether it was Sorbonne, ENA or some other university was not necessarily as important as the actual contents of the programme. The UK was also a popular destination but Brexit created a lot of uncertainty. During my stay (Jan-Mar 2017) many of the law firms had already send their UK colleagues back to London and there was a lot of talk over whether UK programmes on EU law would lose their reputation, it certainly will depend on whether they manage to retain top-EU lecturers from all over the EU or not.

To sum it up: Reputation is not completely irrelevant but EPSO and the actual contents of the programme are more important. Chose for a programme which closely matches your interests and which does not have a bad reputation.

I hope I could help!
Dominik
PS: Mandatory clarification: I am a PhD students and work for an LLM programme at Freie Universität Berlin which happens to be focussed on competition law, check it out if you feel like an LLM in Germany, entirely in English with lecturers from all over the EU is your thing ;-) (MBL-FU: https://llm-guide.com/schools/europe/germany/fu-berlin-institute-for-german-and-european-business-competition-and-regulatory-law)
Hey Roki94 (and others), I think I can help out here. I studied in Germany (main), the UK and Netherlands and during my PhD I worked with the DG Comp for 3 months, in this time I have had close contact with the head of my unit (antitrust pharmaceuticals) but also with interns and bluebook trainees from different units. Additionally, I know quite a few people who have been to CoE, LSE, QMU, Amsterdam, Leiden and obviously a lot of German universities and I have worked for an American law firm in Brussels as a trainee during my studies.

With the Commission you will meet graduates from all over the EU, CoE is not nearly as omnipresent as you would think. You can see certain patterns, though. For instance, trainees from Eastern Europe almost always had an LL.M. from UK universities, German graduates usually from the US, students from Spain and Portugal frequently had a degree from France, students from Scandinavia, Netherlands, Austria and Greece frequently had degrees from Germany. In my experience, the EPSO test is absolutely paramount when applying to the Commission! Heads of unit don't even get the chance to look at your CV unless you manage to score high on the EPSO. Next in line is your exposure to the substance, for DG Comp an LL.M. in Competition/Antitrust counts a lot while DG Just will focus on general EU law etc. The third big criterion is languages: Theoretically, English, French and German are equal working languages of the Commission but de facto it's English, English and English ;-) You will find a lot of native speakers of German and French but as a working language, English is the gold standard. Don't get me wrong, you will work in a lot of different languages with the help of colleagues with various language skills, I worked on a single case where I had to get help with Portuguese, Italian, Bulgarian and Korean (on top of Dutch, French, German and English) but you're English skills are the most important part. Some units with DG Comp have a specific profile, i.e. half of the case handlers are Italian, and then specific languages - such as Italian - can be quite important. But unless you already know which unit you want to join (and I advice against this, since you won't know when they next need someone new) it's English ;-)

When it comes to universities and their reputation, I felt like there is a certain 'informal hierarchy' but it's less fine-grained as one might think. As I mentioned above, most students from Eastern Europe had an LL.M. from the UK or Germany and when I asked a Polish colleague about it he answered that the prestige of Germany, the UK, Scandinavia or the Netherlands (coupled with English-taught LL.M.s) was considered a 'must' to make it in Brussels. Similarly, for Students from the Iberian Peninsula (and even for some Italian trainees) France was a gateway to Brussels. Whether it was Sorbonne, ENA or some other university was not necessarily as important as the actual contents of the programme. The UK was also a popular destination but Brexit created a lot of uncertainty. During my stay (Jan-Mar 2017) many of the law firms had already send their UK colleagues back to London and there was a lot of talk over whether UK programmes on EU law would lose their reputation, it certainly will depend on whether they manage to retain top-EU lecturers from all over the EU or not.

To sum it up: Reputation is not completely irrelevant but EPSO and the actual contents of the programme are more important. Chose for a programme which closely matches your interests and which does not have a bad reputation.

I hope I could help!
Dominik
PS: Mandatory clarification: I am a PhD students and work for an LLM programme at Freie Universität Berlin which happens to be focussed on competition law, check it out if you feel like an LLM in Germany, entirely in English with lecturers from all over the EU is your thing ;-) (MBL-FU: https://llm-guide.com/schools/europe/germany/fu-berlin-institute-for-german-and-european-business-competition-and-regulatory-law)




quote
Thanks MBL-FU for a very informative post! From what I know, I must agree with all the points you made.
Thanks MBL-FU for a very informative post! From what I know, I must agree with all the points you made.
quote

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