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External Economic Relations


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master International Relations, track European Union Studies.


The course opens with a discussion of the phenomenon of globalisation, with a special focus on China, and some basic features of the world economy of today. Then the rules governing the world economy are presented, and more in particular the multilateral trade system of the World Trade Organisation WTO. After the multilateral dimension of the trade system, the new trade policy focus on regional and bilateral trade agreements is studied. Subsequently, the external economic competences of the EU and the main features of the EU common commercial policy are dealt with, as well as the relation between the EU and the WTO.
The course further elaborates on the developments in the WTO since its creation in 1995, and more especially the results of the various WTO Ministerial Conferences, and the position of the EU in these negotiations. Throughout the course attention is given to the role of lobbying in trade policy.

Course objectives

The aim of the course is to introduce the students to the EU external trade policy and its wider context. The students will acquire a good understanding of the basic concepts of the EU external trade policy, of the international economic and policy environment in which it is embedded, and of its workings in practice.
Furthermore, students will gain experience of studying one specific trade policy issue more in depth in the framework of their presentation and essay. This knowledge should help qualify them for a job e.g. in internationally oriented business or business organisations, the national administration or an international organisation.


See the website

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load for the course: 5 EC is 140 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures: 4 hours per week x 6 weeks = 24 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures: 6 hours per week x 6 = 36 hours

  • Preparation for the paper: 80 hours

Assessment method

Presentation 30%
Paper 70%

Retake paper: resubmit three weeks after the grade has been made known. In order to be eligible for the retake paper, students have to have submitted the first paper and have to have failed the course.


Yes, see the site.

Reading list

A reading list will be provided before the start of the course.


Via uSis.

Contact information

Dhr Mr. W.L.E. Quaedvlieg