Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The EU's External Policy and the CFSP

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European Studies

DESCRIPTION Since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty the external relations of the EU have been placed under the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy who heads the European External Action Service (EEAS) This study-unit looks into: (i) developments From the ECSC to EPC and up to the Treaty of Nice; (ii) the Institutional setup of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the External policies of the EU post-Lisbon; (iii) relations between the Commission, Parliament and Council in the decision-making process in this policy area; (iv) main EU policies namely Neighbourhood, Mediterranean, African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP); (v) Development and Trade Policy; (vi) PESCO; (vii) Security Strategies including the Global Strategy (2016).

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of the study-unit is to give students a sound foundation in the way in which the EU acts in the international sphere, the institutional structures where decisions are are taken and the main policies which the EU pursues.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be:

- able to understand the EU institutions involved in the making of the EU's external relations as well as the main policies which the EU pursues in the external domain;
- able to see the main trends developing in the main external relations policies of the EU and the internal mechanisms of the decision-making policies;
- able to confidently prepare assessments of the EU's foreign policies and their critiques;
- familiar with the key treaty instruments and policy documents to the extent that he/she can write critically on the main aspects of such documents.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- write in an analytical and knowledgeable way on any aspect of the EU's External Policy;
- identify the sources to tap in the study of the EU's external policy;
- monitor the developments in the various EU institutions in this domain;
- write policy briefs or lengthier analysis on EU external policies particularly when combining the knowledge imparted in this study-unit with that acquired in other study-units.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

- Stephen Keukeleire and Jennifer MacNaughtan, "The Foreign Policy of the European Union", Palgrave MacMillan.
- Michael Merlingen, "EU Security Policy: What it is, how it works, why it matters", Lynne Rienner, 2012.
- Piet Eeckhout, "EU External Relations Law", Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Christopher Hill and Karen E.Smith, "European Foreign Policy: Key Documents", Routledge, 2000.


On VLE all primary documentations relevant to the various sections of this study-unit including extracts from Treaties and EU policy documents will be placed at the disposal of users.

1. Web-links to the primary EU ( sources will also be inserted and updated
2. Articles from academic journals and other sources of repute will be placed on the VLE to adjourn as supplementary readings to the textbooks and adjournment with developments.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 20%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Roderick Pace

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.