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EU Foreign and Security Policies


Admission requirements

Registration for the Minor European Union Studies or admission to the pre-master European Union Studies.


While central to many crises facing the EU today, the EU’s formal foreign policies are much younger and significantly more limited than other areas of European integration. This course explores the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) amidst the underlying tension between EU member states wanting to retain as much foreign policy independence as possible, all while realizing the necessity for the EU to act collectively.

In so going the course will introduce students to the history, development, functioning and relevance of EU foreign and security policies. Using the examples of relevant international crises, such as the so-called migration crisis, the Arab spring, or Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, the course will explore both the limits and potential of collective EU foreign policy action. The course will then culminate in a simulation exercise of EU crisis decision-making which will require students to step in the shoes of EU decision-makers and to apply their new knowledge of the EU’S CFSP and CSDP.

Course objectives

  • To develop an understanding of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), as well as its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and associated initiatives.

  • To gain insights into why EU integration is more limited in the realm of foreign affairs.

  • To comprehend how different foreign policy goals of the EU’s member states shape EU foreign policy.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  • Active participation in classes (25%)

  • A presentation and policy briefing on a foreign policy issue affecting the EU (25%)

  • Preparation for and participation in the EU foreign policy simulation (10%)

  • A final paper (40%)


The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), students have the possibility to retake the final course paper.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A reading list will be made available via Brightspace for all enrolled students at the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga