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European Security


Admission requirements

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


By making the possibility of war between its members unthinkable, the establishment of the EU has provided most of the European continent with unprecedented stability, further increased by the end of the Cold War. In the wake of the latest civil wars in the Middle East and North Africa, the Ukrainian crisis, the migration flows across the Mediterranean and the latest terrorist attacks on European soil, however, the EU and its member states are confronting a number of both old and new security challenges.

This course will provide a broad overview of European security by being divided into two parts. The first part of the course will provide an overview of the evolving concept of security, analyzing the actors, decision-making processes and documents related to EU security policymaking. The second part will then focus on some key topical security issues, analyzing how and to what extent they concern the EU and what can the Union and its member states do to address them. Specifically, the course will focus on the threat of military confrontation with Russia, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, cybersecurity, organized crime, migrations and pandemics, environmental, energy and maritime security. The concluding session will provide students with the possibility of debating some key, topical issues in European security and provide some conclusions.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • understand the concept of security, its evolution over time and its military and non-military components;

  • analyze the main security issues confronted by EU member states and the European Union at large;

  • assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of EU responses to these challenges;

  • elaborate new internal and external European Security Strategies.


See website Minor EUS.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and Seminars.

Course load

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

  • course participation – attendance is compulsory (12 × 2 hours = 24 hours);

  • time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures (4 × 12 hours = 48 hours);

  • preparing for class presentation (8 hours);

  • researching and writing the end of term paper (60 hours).

Assessment method

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

  • take active part in class discussions (20%);

  • give a presentation (20%);

  • write a new European Security Strategy (60%).
    The final paper will only be marked if the student has attended the seminars.


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


There will be a retake for the EU Security Strategy.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

The compulsory literature for weekly readings will be made available during the course.


Via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.




Dhr. Dr. E. Cusumano