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EU-Russia Relations


Admission requirements

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


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. For a long time considered by Brussels to be a strategic partner, in 2014, in the background of the Ukrainian conflict, the EU’s Foreign Policy chief declared that Russia was no longer a strategic partner. 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; 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 with Moscow.

Course Objectives

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

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

  • To examine relevant primary sources and apply theoretical and empirical knowledge and understanding acquired in this and other courses to EU-Russia relations;

  • To understand the nature of the EU-Russian relationship and to develop policy recommendations in respect of it.


See website Minor EUS.

Mode of Instruction

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

Course load

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours:
Course participation – attendance is compulsory (8 × 2 hours + 2 × 4 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 policy brief [60 hours].

Assessment Method

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

  • presentation 20%;

  • Policy Brief 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 Policy Brief.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

  • a detailed reading list will be distributed at the start of the course, including compulsory reading for each class;

  • it is recommended that students familiarise themselves with resources available at this website.


Via uSis.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable




Dr. M.E.L. David