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Regional Trends: EU and Its Neighbours


Admission requirements

Required course(s):


Recommended course(s):



This course has two main ambitions. First, it aims to offer an in-depth overview of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) from its theoretical as well as practical aspects. The course will particularly focus on the discussions around ENP as the main foreign policy tool with which the EU manages its relations with its neighbours. It will also draw attention to regional aspects of the policy in light of current developments in ENP partner states in the southern and eastern neighbourhood. Second, the course intends to examine how the EU functions as a foreign policy actor, especially the interplay between EU institutions and member states.

In addition, the course is to explore the relevance of the European Neighbourhood Policy for International Relations (IR) by considering the way it has been studied. This aspect of the course will be particular interesting for those who are concerned with the current theoretical and methodological debates in IR and/or might like to write their Capstone thesis on this specific European foreign policy.

Course Objectives

The course aims to provide a critical examination of EU foreign policy especially in its neighbourhood. In successfully completing this course, you will:

  • Understand the background to EU relations with its neighbours;

  • Develop your knowledge of the theoretical approaches to the study of EU foreign policy;

  • Acquire familiarity with the practical aspects of EU foreign policy;

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the agendas and strategies of the EU as well as its neighbour states;

  • Produce a well-argued IR essay;

  • Improve your oral presentation skills and your ability to communicate arguments to other students.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course is taught through two-hour seminars. During the course of the seminar students are expected to take part in both in the seminar discussions; present and defend their ideas within an academic setting; and take part in group presentations. The role of the course instructor is to ensure the efficient running of the discussion.

Assessment Method

Four elements of coursework constitute the final mark for the course:

  1. In-class participation (18%)
  2. Précis (18%)
  3. Group research proposal (24%)
  4. Group research project (40%)

Reading list

Compulsory literature:

Whitman, R and Wolff, S (2012) The European Neighbourhood Policy in Perspective: Context, Implementation and Impact, Palgrave

Recommended readings:

Smith, K E (2014) European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World, London, Polity
McCormick, J (2011) Understanding the European Union, Palgrave
Howorth, J (2014) Security and Defence Policy in the European Union, Palgrave


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Beatrix Futak-Campbell,


Weekly Overview
1. Introduction

PART I: Theory
2. The development of EU foreign policy
3. The development of EU foreign policy institutions
4. Theories and EU foreign policy
5. Concepts of power and EU foreign policy
6. The lessons of enlargement

PART II: Practice
7. The legal basis of ENP
8. Fiscal management of ENP
9. Crises Management and ENP
10. Trip to Brussels
11. Regionalism I: Eastern Partnership, Northern Dimension and EU Artic Policy
12. Regionalism II: Union for the Mediterranean , Black Sea Synergy and Central Asia Strategy
13. Current challenges e.g. the Arab Spring, frozen conflicts, terrorism, migration
14. Revision