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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.;

  • To critique policy and develop policy recommendations rooted in a cost-benefit analysis.;

  • To develop students’ skills base in respect of: research; presentation; critical writing; critical argumentation.


See 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.

Course load

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours:
Course participation (2 hours per week x 13 weeks = 26 hours);

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures (4 x 13 hours = 52 hours);

  • Preparing for class presentation (14 hours);

  • Researching and writing the policy brief (48 hours).

Assessment Method

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

  • Group or individual presentation, to include supporting documentation 30%;

  • Policy Brief 50%. 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.


  • Participation – write reflective document detailing learning acquired over the course;

  • Presentation: oral presentation;

  • Policy brief: Revise and resubmit policy brief.

Exam Review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for uploading of all course documents, including slides used in lectures/seminars; updates regarding the course; submission of all assessments

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