4 ECTS credits
100 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 8021646INR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (I) Postgraduate - specialised level.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Social Sciences & SolvayBusinessSchool
Institute for European Studies
Educational team
Luk VAN LANGENHOVE (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
100 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

The course looks at the European Union from an international perspective, i.e. the European Union's foreign policy(ies) and its engagement with other international actors. The aim of this course is to offer a broader perspective on the main areas of interest for the EU, while laying the appropriate theoretical foundations. We will discuss some of the policies by which the EU has come to define itself as a foreign policy actor, analysing the available instruments, as well as the role and limits of the institutions in the process. In the second part of the course, we will zoom in and examine the role of the EU in the World. This includes relations with the Neighbourhood, EU-Russia relations, EU and North Africa and the Middle East relations, and the Transatlantic Partnership. Finally, we will focus on the EU's performance in international negotiations, using as a case study the COP21 negotiations on climate change.

This course is primarily taught using enquiry-based learning, focusing on independent and research-based learning, using as a starting point the material provided in each of the six modules. Lectures and readings are provided every two weeks, and they are accompanied by a series of questions or tasks that aim to set the framework for discussion, as well as facilitating the various assignments that need to be completed by the end of the course. Interaction and debate among students is highly encouraged and facilitated through the course forum. 

Module structure:

  1. Introducing EU Foreign Policy
  2. The Institutional Frame
  3. The Functional Scope
  4. The Geographical Reach
  5. Europe, Geopolitics and Strategy
  6. Research Methods for Final Paper
Additional info


Learning Outcomes

General Competencies

After completing this module, students should be able to:

  • Identify the main policies that make the EU a foreign policy actor;
  • Identify the tools the EU uses to conduct its external affairs;
  • Have an overview of the diversity of the EU’s roadmaps or strategies implemented worldwide.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Other Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

Within the Other Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Assignments with a relative weight of 20 which comprises 20% of the final mark.
  • Briefing Paper with a relative weight of 20 which comprises 20% of the final mark.
  • Research Paper with a relative weight of 60 which comprises 60% of the final mark.

Additional info regarding evaluation

A number of  four smaller assignments (for modules 1-4) are announced throughout the course. Their completion counts towards 20% of the final grade. A briefing paper is announced at the beginning of module 5, and this counts for an additional 20% of the final grade. Finally a research paper on a topic relevant to the course counts for the remaining 60%. The maximum amount is 100 points (or 100%).

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Postgraduate Certificate European Policy Making: Default track