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External policies of the EU


Admission requirements

Minimaal BSA (40 ects)


In the beginning of the European Communities (EC) there were high hopes for a European foreign and defence policy. After the disaster with the European Defence Community (1954) Europe chose for a low, mostly economic profile. Agriculture, the internal market and the EMU were the main topics. The EC and later the EU were rather inward looking. External policy focussed mainly on enlarging the number of member states, especially in regard to Central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

At present the EU has to position itself on a number of problems and issues in a globalized world.. The course will describe the history of the handling of external policies since the start of the EC. We shall cover the relations with the United States and with emerging powers like Brazil, India and China. What attitude does the EU show to its neighbours? On the agenda will appear issues like security and defence, international trade, human rights, development cooperation, climate change, energy supply and combating terrorism.

In the meantime the Treaty of Lisbon has come into force. It contains a range of new institutions and procedures. Which actors have a stake in the external policies of the EU and how do they handle them?

Course objectives

  • To introduce students with the economic concepts that are necessary to understand the main policy areas of the European Union;

  • To provide students with a passive and active knowledge of the economic rationale behind European integration and the economic challenges facing the European Union.


Workgroup on Friday from 13.15-15.00. Can be subject to change (see the website for this).

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Students will choose a subject for a paper of roughly 10 pages. They will also make a PowerPoint presentation on their subject.

Reading list

  • HelenWallace, William Wallace and Mark Pollack (2009), Policy-Making in the European Union, 6th Edition Oxford: Oxford University Press, chapters 15 and 17;

  • Fraser Cameron (2007), An Introduction to European Foreign Policy, Routledge,

  • Margriet Drent and Dick Zandee (2010), Breaking Pillars – Towards a Civil-military Security Approach for the European Union, Clingendael Securtiy Paper no.13.


Through uSis
h3. Contact information

Drs. J. Penders