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External Policies of the EU


Admission requirements

At least BSA (40 ects).


In the beginning of the European Communities (EC) there were expectations and ideas for a European foreign and security policy. After the disaster with the European Defence Community (1954) Europe chose for a low, mostly economic profile. Agriculture, the internal market and the EMU were the main topics. Foreign affairs and security were mainly dealt with in NATO. External policy focused on enlarging the number of member states, especially in regard to Central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

At present the EU has to position itself on a number of problems and issues in a globalized world. The course will cover theories of international relations. On the agenda are relations with the United States and with emerging powers like Brazil, India and China. What attitude does the EU show to its neighbours? Issues like security and defence, terrorism, enlargement, human rights, international trade, development cooperation, climate change, energy supply etc. will be discussed.

Since 2009 the EU is governed by the Treaty of Lisbon. It contains a range of new institutions and procedures. Which actors have a stake in the external policies of the EU and how do they handle them?

Course objectives

  • to present an overview of the external policies of the EU: diplomacy, security, defence, trade, development cooperation, enlargement and neighbourhood policy;

  • to describe and discuss how the EU deals with global challenges like climate change, energy provision, food security and migration problems.


See website Minor EUS.

Mode of instruction


Course load

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours:

  • lectures and exams (14 × 2 hours = 28 hours);

  • studying literature (112 hours).

Assessment method

The final mark will be a combination of the following notes obtained during the classes, weighted in the following way:

  • a policy paper of roughly 5000 words (10-12 pages) (70%);

  • general course participation (including an oral presentation) (30%).

There will be a retake for the policy paper.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

  • official website of the European Union;

  • daily news on EUobserver ;

  • additional readings will be provided during the course.


Via uSis.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.




Dhr. Drs. J.J.M. (Jean) Penders