ASTK15462U Jean Monnet: The EU as an International Actor

Volume 2017/2018

The Jean Monnet Programme is aimed at both Danish and foreign students with a particular interest in European Politics. The programme consists of two parts: Jean Monnet Lectures and Jean Monnet Workshops. The weekly lectures present a wide range of perspectives on the European Union as an external actor and are given by prominent practitioners and academics within the field. The weekly lectures are open to all interested. For students wishing to sit exams at the graduate level, weekly workshops are also offered. In the workshops, the topics and themes of the lectures are elaborated upon in discussions and student presentations based on textbooks and articles. Examinations take place just before the end of the semester (May).

The aim of the course is to provide students with theoretical tools and empirical knowledge for studying the EU as an external actor in today´s world. The programme will present the main dimensions in the study of the EU as an external actor drawing on relevant theories, concepts and approaches. The first main theme of the course is the main features of EU decision-making in the field of foreign policy and its central actors. The principal stages in the institutional development of the EU as an external actor will be analysed, and conceptual tools for understanding EU decisions in the field of foreign policy will be provided. The central role of member states will be dealt with. The implications of the Lisbon Treaty will be discussed. The second main theme of the course is the question of how to understand and analyse the international role of the EU. Here we study the main theories to understand the EU as an international actor.  The third focus of the course is a study of the different areas which illustrate the role of the EU in different areas. We will look at many aspects of general foreign policy and areas such as security, trade and development and human rights. The course will also present the debate about the EU as a civilian/normative actor.

Learning Outcome

To strengthen the abilities to understand and analyse foreign policy issues in relation to the EU. To support the knowledge and skills in a number of neighbouring areas: the EU as a political system, international relation and its actors, foreign policy analysis. As far as job opportunities are concerned, the course will strengthen the students´ analytical skills with regard to foreign policy issues which involve the EU. It will therefore be of relevance for work in foreign ministries, international organisations, NGOs and journalism.


  • present the main theoretical approaches for analysing the EU as an external actor and their implications for concrete analyses (neorealism, neoliberal institutionalism, constructivism, intergovernmentalism, neofunctionalism)
  • present central approaches to decision-making in EU foreign policy-making including the role of the member states
  • know the main  functional and geographical areas in which the EU is an international actor 
  • know the discussion about evaluation of EU external action.
  • know the debate about the EU as a normative power
  • Understand the role and development of the EU in the field of defence,
  • The EU in the field of anti-terror-policy, trade policy, policy towards the near abroad, human rights, the third world, enlargement policy, 
Basic knowledge of international relations and its theories. Knowledge and interest in the European Union.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination
Oral exam
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner