EURA234-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

European Foreign Policy in the 21st Century

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


This course focuses on how the EU, and its member states, are adapting to an international role in the 21st century. The course will critically examine the institutions of EU foreign and security policy, the creation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the increasing number of civilian and military crisis management operations. The course assesses the EU's emergent strategy and strategic culture and strands of its foreign policy in action. Particular attention is given to EU development policy, the EU's engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals, EU trade policy, as well as how the EU engages with other world powers such as the US, Russia and China.

Can the EU increase its defence cooperation between Member States while dealing with the consequences of Brexit? Should the EU have its own army to defend itself? Has Europe’s Russian policy failed since the end of the Cold War? What about Europe's Southern Neighbourhood? How should the EU respond to the rise of China and the US’ trade war on China? Is it fair to say that the EU remains a global leader in helping developing countries in times of global financial crisis and on climate change after the Paris Agreement?

The European Union’s ambitions to be a global power are often seen as a by-product of European integration. As the EU emerges as an economic and normative power, the EU can be understood as a new kind of international actor. Students of ‘European foreign policy’ focus on EU trade, aid and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), but cannot neglect how the EU’s international role is shaped by its strengths and weaknesses and how the Member States of the EU interact with the foreign policy of the Union. Understanding the global role of the EU also depends on how we understand power and the unique identity of the EU in the international system.

This course introduces historical developments, key concepts, policy-making and important policy areas and bilateral relations of the European Union’s foreign policy. Upon understanding basic power concepts, decision-making processes, including the creation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the increasing number of civilian and military and military crisis management operations, and key policy fields, the course then looks at the EU’s relations in its immediate neighbours, the EU, Russia, China and its global relevance with the Asia Pacific. The course concludes with an assessment of institutional changes as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, and how the EU and its Member States respond to new external and internal challenges, what do the unique strengths and weakness of the EU tell us about power in international politics. The course will also examine the potential impact of Brexit and US elections on the shape and form of European foreign policy.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students who pass this course should be able to:

  • Describe the historical development of the EU as a global actor both in its internal and external dimension;
  • Evaluate different conceptual and theoretical approaches to capture the EU’s international role;
  • Explain how the process of the EU foreign policy making – the treaty changes, the creation of institutions and policy competences different policy area;
  • Understand how the EU engages in important bilateral relations as well as make relevant analysis on the EU’s role in the Asia Pacific.

    The student will also have developed skills such as:

  • The ability to analyse complex material from a variety of sources and to communicate the results verbally and in written form
  • The ability to both follow instruction and to work independently
  • The ability to engage appropriately with a range of people in group discussions
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 15 points at 100-level from EURA or POLS, OR any 60 points at 100-level from Schedule V of the BA.


Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 11:00 A5 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 09:00 - 10:00 Rehua 529
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct

Course Coordinator

Serena Kelly


Serena Kelly


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Attendance and participation 10% Continuous assessment
Oral presentation 25% arranged during weeks 1-2
3,000 word essay 35%
In-class test 30% Held week 12

Textbooks / Resources

Textbooks (for reference, there is no set text for this course):
Hill, C. and Smith, M. (eds.)(2011), International Relations and the European Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Keukeleire, S. and Delreux, T. (eds.) (2014), The Foreign Policy of the European Union, Basingstroke: Palgrave Macmillan

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $844.00

International fee $3,950.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All EURA234 Occurrences

  • EURA234-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024