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EU-Russia Relations


Admission requirements

Not Applicable


Throughout the post-Cold War period, Russia has loomed large on the EU horizon, perceived alternately and sometimes simultaneously as an opportunity, a threat; a partner, an enemy and now, for some, a terrorist state. For a long time considered by Brussels to be a strategic partner, in 2014, in the background of the conflict inflicted on Ukraine, the EU’s Foreign Policy chief declared that Russia was no longer a strategic partner. The fuller war of aggression Russia has fought against Ukraine since 2022 has had a further catastrophic effect. In this course, students will examine the basis and nature of the relationship from its inception to the present day in order to identify the shifts in the relationship and the reasons for them.

Key policy areas considered include: the Common Foreign and Security Policy; Common Security and Defence Policy; Trade Policy; and Energy Policy. At the same time, students are encouraged to understand that EU-Russia relations can and must be studied on a range of levels and through a range of actors. Thus, the Brussels-Moscow relationship and their inter-institutional dynamics are studied alongside some of the key member states’ national relations vis-a-vis the Brussels institutions and Moscow.

Course objectives

  • Through analysis of the EU-Russia relationship, to develop students’ understanding of foreign policy-making in the EU;

  • To identify and analytically explore the multiple levels of analysis, the multiplicity of actors and variety of sectors that impact on the EU’s policy-making;

  • To evaluate critically contemporary social and political realities in the EU and Russia and their relations with each other in order to have a sufficient knowledge base through which to analyse EU-Russia relations and to be able to imagine possible futures for the relationship;

  • To develop independent research skills in relation to authoritative and appropriate primary and secondary sources;

  • To analyse relevant primary and secondary sources, applying theoretical and empirical knowledge and understanding acquired in this and other courses to relations between the EU and Russia;

  • To develop an understanding of the nature of the EU-Russian relationship and to learn to build credible scenarios in respect of it;

  • To acquire skills related to scenario analysis through reference to authoritative relevant literature; collaborative work;

  • To manage time effectively in relation to individual and team work;

  • To understand how to break down the components of a task and acquire skills to ensure effective collaborative work.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, seminars and group and individual research. In addition, parts of the course will be taught using enquiry-based learning, incorporating independent study, prescribed reading, group discussion, presentations, scenario-building.

Assessment method


  • Active participation in class (attendance mandatory for a minimum of 10 classes).

  • Scenario rationale – group work

  • Portfolio (paper) to contain two different elements from the range offered.


  • Active participation in class 20%

  • Scenario rationale 20%

  • Portfolio (paper) to contain two different elements (60%). Each element weighted equally (30%)

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. To pass the course, the weighted average of the partial grades must be 5.5 or higher.


A resit opportunity is available only for those portfolio items failed, and only if the course as a whole is failed. Students must deliver a completely new portfolio item or items.

Inspection and feedback

Not applicable.

Reading list

The full reading list will be provided shortly before the start of the class but core readings include:
Romanova, Tatiana and David, Maxine (eds) (2021) The Routledge Handbook of EU-Russia Relations. Structures, Actors, Issues London: Routledge.


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


Not applicable.