Course Description

Course Name

European Security and International Institutions

Session: VPGS1221

Hours & Credits

46 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


The aim of this course is to provide an in-depth understanding of European security architecture by focusing on both key security institutions and key issues, such as terrorism, migration, cyber defense etc., which have direct ramifications for European security. Consequently, this course will, institutionwise, principally deal with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the Arctic Council. Simultaneously, this program will cover European security in regard to the adjacent regions that are essential for preserving local stability, namely, Eastern Europe (Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, Moldova); Middle East and North Africa (Syria, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Algeria); and the Arctic region. Finally, the aim of this course is to also provide a comprehensive understanding of the current challenges to European security, primarily epitomized by the refugee crisis, information warfare, terrorism, or energy dependency.

Learning outcomes and competences:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand and debate key issues related to European security
  • Comprehend the very intricate system of international security institutions and their impact on the EU
  • Discuss European security and stability in connection with its adjacent regions
  • Have an in-depth understanding of the EU’s current security challenges

Course content:

This course deals with European security architecture, predominantly by focusing on relevant international security organizations, security issues linked with European neighboring regions, and current security challenges.

Course content in details:

1. Introduction - European security architecture and the key players/institutions affecting it. Overview of the current and potential threats. Course outline, grading scheme.

2. European Union’s security & NATO - EU battlegroups, NATO internal structure, role of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. EU-NATO cooperation, EU-USA cooperation.

3. International security organizations – OSCE, SCO, CSTO, Arctic Council. European Energy Security.

4. Eastern Europe I. - Russia and Belarus. Russian security narratives, perceptions, and propaganda. EU-Russian relations, EU-Belarus relations. Conflict in Georgia. A2/AD concept. New Cold War?

5. Eastern Europe II. – Ukraine and Moldova. EU-Ukraine relations, EU-Moldova relations. Conflict in Eastern Ukraine and Crimean crisis, Conflict in Transnistria. Future challenges.

6. Balkans – EU-Balkan security cooperation and outlooks. European role during the 1990s and the EU’s role today. MIDTERM EXAM

7. Middle East and North Africa (MENA) I. – Syria and Palestine/Israel. Syrian conflict and the EU approach, Palestine-Israeli conflict.

8. MENA II. – Gulf States and North Africa. EU’s security interests in the region. Libya’s current civil war and its ramifications,

9. MENA III. – Turkey. EU-Turkey relations. Security questions before and after the coup d’état attempt in 2016. Kurdish question.

10. Refugee crisis - EU’s migration security policy. Frontex. Migration movements and the most important migration routes.

11. Current threats - terrorism, cyber-defence, information warfare.

12. Outlooks for the future – unified European army? New challenges rising?


Grading scale:

  • 1 = 90 - 100
  • 2 = 75 - 89
  • 3 = 60 - 74
  • Failed = below 60
  • 4+ = 50 - 60

Assessment methods (weight):

  • Active lecture/seminar/workshop/tutorial participation/ attendance- 20%
  • Midterm test- 30%
  • Final exam- 50%
  • Total – maximum 100 %

*Course content subject to change