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European Foreign Policy


Credits: 4 ECTS

Second semester

Elective Courses




The course offers a comprehensive introduction to European Foreign Policy (EFP), by investigating how the EU and European states respond to global issues and how this affects the international system. Specifically, it discusses:

  1. the genesis and development of EFP, placing it in the dual context of the international system (Cold War; current multipolar world) and the foreign policies of EU member states and European third states (diversity, tensions between EU and national level);
  2. the EU’s policy-making system, focusing on the institutions and instruments of EU External Action, specifically the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP);
  3. the EU’s identity (normative power, promoter of multilateralism), its strategies for global action and its impact in a world in transformation;
  4. selected cases of how Europeans have responded to crises in their neighbourhood, such as the Arab uprisings between late 2010 and 2012, ISIS’s rise to power in 2013-2014, Ukraine since 2014, and violent conflicts in Africa over the past two decades.

The course will, among others, explore if the restructuring of power at the international level (emergence of strong economies and powers within the Global South, China’s increasing assertiveness, Russian invasion of Ukraine) implies that Europe has become less attractive as a global actor (normative contestation). The restructured global power system prompts the EU to engage more with perceptions of the "others" while debating how to best build a geopolitical Europe.


The final grade for this course is based on the following four tasks. 

  1. The first is an assessment of participation over the duration of the course, based on the personal development of the student’s ability to participate, and the qualitative nature of interventions, be they in group discussions, other forms of discursive interaction or short individual exercises. This is worth 20% of the final grade.
  2. The second is a short essay (up to 1500 words, excluding bibliography) This is based on Esther Barbé’s part (sessions 1-3) and is worth 25% of the final grade. 
  3. The third is a short essay (up to 1500 words, excluding bibliography). This is based on Pol Morillas’ part (sessions 4 and 6-8) and is worth 30% of the final grade. 
  4. The fourth is a written group evaluation of the crisis response simulation that is being held in session 11 on 30 May. This is based on Eva Michaels’ part and students are encouraged to draw on the knowledge that they have gained in previous sessions.