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The EU in its Contemporary Security Environment


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master International Relations, track European Union Studies.


The security environment that the European Union currently finds itself in is highly volatile amidst Russia’s (re)invasion of Ukraine since the spring of 2022. This development and its wider geopolitical repercussions have made it necessary for the EU to reconsider how it conducts its foreign and security policy. This course will examine the EU’s recent reaction to challenges against its security and that of its neighbourhood against the backdrop of the existing set-up of its foreign and security policies. In so doing the course explores the EU’s evolving relationship to and participation in international regimes meant to address issues of international security. In addition, the course will discuss the significant constraints which have so far limited the EU’s presence and activity in the field of security policy-making and how they have been altered by recent international crises.

Course objectives

  • To develop an understanding of the overlapping security crises affecting the EU and its neighbourhood.

  • To gain knowledge about the EU’s relationship with various security-focused international organisations and regimes.

  • To analyse the EU’s behaviour in the realm of security against the backdrop of its own institutional set-up.

  • To further develop research skills as well as skills in critical thinking.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  • Active participation in seminar discussions (25%)

  • In-class presentation and associated blog post (25%)

  • Final research paper (50%)


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


If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), students have the possibility to retake the final course paper.

Inspection and feedback

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.

Reading list

A reading list will be made available via Brightspace for all enrolled students at the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga