The Jean Monnet Module on European Union Family Law (nEUfam)

nEUfam is a 60h course in European Union Family Law held at NOVA School of Law, Lisbon. The course addresses the issue of the pressure that changing family structures and family norms can exert on the future of the European project and whether the EU is equipped to respond to these changes.

With evolving family and fertility patterns, the increasing incidence of families that do not align with the traditional model of family, and “culture wars” around family-related matters erupting across Europe, especially in illiberal contexts, the course supplies essential insights to rethink EU legal frameworks in ways that account for these shifts. It especially seeks to understand whether the EU can play a role when it comes to promoting the rights of non-traditional families, and the extent to which this requires amendments to the current legal framework and architecture of the Union. It furthermore assesses the threats to European integration posed by illiberal rules and parties by analyzing their instrumental use of traditional family norms to weaken the EU.


Nausica Palazzo, Assistant Professor

Starting date and Duration

Start 1st September 2022 and duration 36 months

Results and Objectives of the Module

  • It addresses a topic in EU Studies, EU family law, by shedding much-needed light on the ways in which EU law and institutions can shape the future of family law and family life across the Continent.
  • It adopts an impact-driven, practice-oriented approach: in addressing this topic, it seeks to produce knowledge that will support EU policy-making in a field that is drawing increasing attention by EU lawmakers for the repercussions it has both on the life of EU citizens and survival of the European project.
  • It increases public awareness of the relevance of family laws to our daily lives and of the role of the EU in shaping it through the communication of research results to the general public. In so doing, nEUfam fosters dialogue between the academic world and society.
  • The project has the potential to strengthen the role of the EU in a globalized world in the sense that a more cohesive, more inclusive, less corrosively divided Europe gains in terms of its global reputation and ability to promote change at the global level. The project is relevant to the EU external action considering that it aligns with the objectives of the Guidelines to Promoted and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTIQ) persons created by the Council of the European Union on 24 June 2013, whereby the EU pledges to promote the human rights of LGBTIQ persons through all possible means in its external action.
  • As to priority target groups, its main ambition is to target higher education students of European Union Studies, namely the students of the Bachelor in Law at the NOVA School of Law. Secondly, it expands its reach to those students who may not encounter EU studies by opening the last 4 classes to a larger audience (including both students of other schools at NOVA and the larger civil society). This type of outreach, combined with the ongoing involvement of civil society organizations at both the local, national, and European levels demonstrates the project’s ability to implement that kind of active outreach and educational work outside of academia that will narrow the gap between the EU and the public.



Share This Post