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Regional Trends: EU and Its Neighbourhood


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

None, though a 200-level course from the same track is recommended.


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 considering 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.

The course will explore how the ENP fosters stability, security and prosperity in the EU's neighbouring regions, both in the South and in the East and will look at how the cooperation framework has developed to build more effective partnerships in the neighbourhood with. This will include a focus on the Eastern Partnership, EU Enlargement and Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.

The ENP builds on the commitment of the EU and its neighbours to work together on key priority areas and, in view of this, the course will discuss the partnership’s shared values including the promotion of democracy and the rule of law as well as joint priorities for cooperation in the areas of Economic development for stabilisation, Security & Migration and mobility.

Attention will also be given to Africa as a geopolitical priority for the European Union with close economic, cultural and geographical ties and a shared history, proximity and interests that bind the two continents together. This will include an assessment of EU-Africa relations based on two complementary frameworks, the Africa-EU Partnership and the new Partnership Agreement with the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).

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 various 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 essay on an aspect of foreign policy;

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


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2022-2023 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course is taught through two-hour seminars. During 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 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:

  • In-class participation (18%)

  • Presentation (18%)

  • Research proposal (24%)

  • Research paper (40%)

Reading list

Textbooks, articles and policy documents and other reading material will be provided.


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,


Robert Micallef,