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External policies of the EU


Admission requirements

At least BSA (40 ects)


In the beginning of the European Communities (EC) there were expectations and ideas for a European foreign and security 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. Foreign affairs and security were mainly dealt with in NATO. External policy focussed 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 cover theories of international relations. On the agenda are relations with the United States and with emerging powers like Brazil, India and China. What attitude does the EU show to its neighbours? Issues like security and defence, terrorism, enlargement, human rights, international trade, development cooperation, climate change, energy supply etc. will be discussed.

Since 2009 the EU is governed by the Treaty of Lisbon. 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 present an overview of the external poicies of the EU; diplomacy, security, defence, trade, development cooperation, enlargement and neighbourhood policy;

  • To describe and discuss how the EU faces global challenges like climate change, energy provision, food security and migration problems.


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 (can be subject to change)

  • Ian Bache, George S. and Bulmer S. (2011), Politics in the European Union , Oxford, Oxford university Press, chapters 1,2, 32, 33 and 34

  • 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.


  • Daily news


Via uSis.
See also: registration and admission requirements for the Master EUS.

Contact information

Drs. J. Penders