2023-2024 / SPOL2321-1

International Relations of the European Union


30h Th

Nombre de crédits

 Master en sciences politiques, orientation générale, à finalité (années impaires, organisé en 2023-2024) 5 crédits 
 Master en sciences politiques, orientation générale, à finalité (CATANE (OUT)) (années impaires, organisé en 2023-2024) 5 crédits 
 Master en sciences politiques, orientation générale, à finalité (CATANE (IN)), 1re année (années impaires, organisé en 2023-2024) 5 crédits 
 Master en sciences politiques, orientation générale (années impaires, organisé en 2023-2024) 5 crédits 
 Cours supplémentaires destinés aux étudiants d'échange - Erasmus (Faculté de Droit, de Sciences politique et de Criminologie) (années impaires, organisé en 2023-2024) 5 crédits 


Sébastian Santander

Langue(s) de l'unité d'enseignement

Langue anglaise

Organisation et évaluation

Enseignement au premier quadrimestre, examen en janvier


Horaire en ligne

Unités d'enseignement prérequises et corequises

Les unités prérequises ou corequises sont présentées au sein de chaque programme

Contenus de l'unité d'enseignement


The course attempts to study the European Union as an international actor. The course attempts to unscramble the decision-making process in the field of foreign policy. The latter will be apprehended through a comprehensive approach. In order to reach this goal, the course will analyse the external policies of the European Union (CFSP/CSDP trade, cooperation policies,...). It also aims to analyse the relations of the EU with the Western Balkans (enlargement), with its neighborhood (Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean), with multilateral organisations (WTO), regional groups and third countries from the Americas, Africa and Asia. The course will also handle the relations between the EU and the emerging countries. It will also pay particular attention to the relations between the EU and Latin America. The course will handle several questions such as: Who are de decision-makers ? In what conditions are decisions made ? Are decisions always rational ? What is the relative weight of lobbying/external pressures ? Who controls the process ? What are the international consenquencies of external policies? What is the real influence of the EU in International Affairs? The course will also analyze the nature of the actor, represented by the European Union, through different theories.

Acquis d'apprentissage (objectifs d'apprentissage) de l'unité d'enseignement

The course aims at promoting a better understanding of decision-making processes in the field of foreign policy apprehended in a comprehensive way and in relation with the European Union (EU).
The course also aims at promoting a better understanding of the public policy of the EU in term of foreign policy. 

Savoirs et compétences prérequis

The course "International Relations of the European Union" requires both the active and passive knowledge of ENGLISH!

Furthermore, it is preferable, but not required, that students have completed a course of International Relations and have some knowledge of the functionning and policies of the EU.

Activités d'apprentissage prévues et méthodes d'enseignement

The course is an Ex Cathedra one. It will encourage students to participate. It will also try to develop students critical thinking skills.

Mode d'enseignement (présentiel, à distance, hybride)

Cours donné exclusivement en présentiel

Explications complémentaires:

The planned learning activities and the teaching methods are the following:

1. There will be several Ex Cathedra lectures:  students are warmly invited to participate.

2. There will be a couple of guest lecturers who will make interventions on target issues.

3. Students will also be required to participate in a limited series of 4 interactive reading sessions led by course assistants. These sessions aim to support students in better understanding both the reading and the material taught in class. It will also help student to prepare them for the exam. Attendance will be taken at each reading seminar.

If needed, students may also have to follow a couple of conferences (inside or outside the university) related to topics tackled during the course.

The presence of the students is needed!

Lectures recommandées ou obligatoires et notes de cours

The course is based both on notes prepared by the professor in charge of the course and on the following required reading list. You can find the reading list at the University Press (Syllabus: Sebastian Santander, International Relations of the European union, Liège, Presses universitaires de Liège, 2023) or by clicking on the following link: https://hdl.handle.net/2268/306201   

- Sebastian Santander, "The EU and the shifts of power in the international order: challenges and responses", European Foreign Affairs Review, vol 19, issue 1, 2014, pp. 65-81;

- Daniel Fiott, " Introduction ", in Daniel Fiott, The CSDP in 2020 : The EU's legacy and ambition in security and defence, European Union Institute for Security Studies, 2020, pp. 6-13;

- Marek Dabrowski, "Can the EU overcome its enlargement impasse? ", Bruegel, 2020.

- Luigi Scazzieri, "Rethinking the EU's approach towards its southern neighbours", Center for European Reform, july 2020.

- Gabriela Carmen Pascriu and Giles Rouet, "Introduction: Relsilience and the Eastern Partnership. What relevance for policies?" in G. Rouet and C. Pascariu (eds), Resilience and the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood, London, Palgrave, 2019.

- David O'Sullivan, "The European Union and the multilateral system : Lessons from past experience and future challenges", European Parliamentary Research Service, PE 689.365, 2021, pp. 1-8.

- Sebastian Santander, "The Atlantic Triangle in the era of China's rising power in Latin America", in Mario Telò, China regionalism and interregionalism and the EU, Fritz Lang, 2020.

- Jana Puglierin and Jeremy Shapiro, "The art of vassalisation: How Russia's war on Ukraine has transformed transatlantic relations", European Council on Foreign Relations, April 2023, 21 p.

- Orenstein Mitchell A., "The European Union's transformation after Russia's attack on Ukraine", Journal of European Integration, 45, 3, 2023, pp. 333-342.

- Sebastian Santander and Antonios Vlassis, "The EU in Search of Autonomy in the Era of Chinese Expansionism and COVID-19 Pandemic", 2021.

Modalités d'évaluation et critères

Examen(s) en session

Toutes sessions confondues

- En présentiel

évaluation orale

Explications complémentaires:

For the evaluation, the professor will consider the following elements:

- an oral examination regarding Ex Cathedra lectures both in the first and second session

- oral examination concerning the conferences given by the guest lecturers both in the first and second session

- oral examination concerning the required literature.

Students who are required to take the exam the year the course is not given (because of repechage), must study both the compulsory readings of the course (see "Recommended or required readings") and the content of the oral course given during the previous year.

 The oral exam will take place on May/June 2023.


Remarques organisationnelles et modifications principales apportées au cours

- To succeed the exam it is highly recommended to attend the classes. New issues are tackled each year during the course.

- At the end of the course, students will have a detailed plan of the course. The document will be available on MyULiege.

The course is held every odd year (2021-2022, 2023-2024...).


- Professor:

Sebastian Santander (Office: R71, level 0 - tel. 04 366 30 46) - sebastian.santander@uliege.be

- Assistants:

Vincent Bricart, CEFIR, B31, niveau 0, Bureau R.73 ; Tel. : 043 66 42 59, v.bricart@uliege.be

Alex Arnoldy, CEFIR, B31, niveau 0, Bureau R.73 ; Tel. : 043 66 42 59, Alex.Arnoldy@uliege.be

Line Vervier, CEFIR, B31, niveau 0, Bureau R.73 ; Tel. : 043 66 42 59,

Association d'un ou plusieurs MOOCs