Professional Course

The EU and Human Rights

edX, Online
7 weeks
49 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
7 weeks
49 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
Visit this course's homepage on the provider's site to learn more or book!

Course description

The EU and Human Rights

Whether you are an EU citizen or not, this course concerns you! The EU is a major global actor in the field of human rights. EU treaties state that human rights are a fundamental value of the Union, which must be a silver thread in all its policies. The EU now acts within an impressive array of competences, and therefore has the potential to impact – positively or negatively – anyone’s human rights.

This EU and Human Rights course teaches the basics of human rights, placing the EU at the centre of investigation.

  • What factors are key to making the EU a positive or a negative force for human rights? For example, what impact has the economic crisis had on people’s human rights in the EU and the world?
  • Which actors, friends or foes, must the EU engage with to successfully promote human rights? Examples include NGOs, businesses, or other international organisations like the Council of Europe or the UN.
  • What is the impact of the EU in key policy sectors? Examples include trade, development, migration, social policy or international crisis management.

All of the course activities aim to improve your understanding of how the EU, alone or in combination with other local or global, state or non-state actors, can better promote and uphold human rights worldwide. The course is intended for anyone interested in human rights and the EU, human rights law, European Studies, international relations, global governance, etc. It is divided into four modules:

  1. The EU and Human Rights: Value Promotion and Coherence
  2. Promoting Human Rights inside the EU
  3. Promoting Human Rights in EU External Action
  4. Capitalising on Success and Remedying Flaws

This course is taught by leading academics, and the content is illustrated through interviews of practitioners in the field of the EU and human rights. The course also comprises a wealth of bibliographical resources, and frequent exercises to test what you have learned.

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

Start anytime

  • Self-paced Online
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?


No pre-requisites, but people with previous knowledge of the EU and Human Rights will be able to follow the lectures and do the readings.

Training content

Human Rights Challenges in EU Policies

The course will first outline the background to EU action, presenting the environment in which the EU acts. The focus will then move to the challenges and factors that affect EU performance in relation to human rights.

EU as a Human Rights Actor

In this week the core concept of human rights will be introduced, and examined in relation to two other values making up the EU’s constitutional triad: namely the rule of law and democracy. These are set against EU policy requirements provided for by the Treaties according to which coherence is to be ensured in all the EU’s internal and external policies.

EU’s Internal Setting and Fundamental Rights Policies; Themes and Priorities of EU External Human Rights Policies; Actors and Geographic Approaches in EU External Relations

In weeks 3 to 5 the selected policy fields will illustrate the initiatives undertaken by the EU to fulfil its human rights obligations both internally and externally. The presentation of the complex policies will be accompanied by concrete case studies and insights from the practice.

EU Human Rights Policy Evaluation

Finally, the course will provide insights into monitoring and evaluating possibilities, which may aid the EU in improving its human rights related performance both in terms of the use of policy instruments and shaping the policy content.


The course will be open for an extra week for further revisions or questions.

Course delivery details

This course is offered through KU Leuven, a partner institute of EdX.

4-6 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$49
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • How the EU works
  • What the EU does
  • How the EU affects human rights
  • Where the EU can do better to be a positive force for human rights

Contact this provider

Contact course provider

Fill out your details to find out more about The EU and Human Rights.

  Contact the provider

  Get more information

  Register your interest

Country *

reCAPTCHA logo This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
141 Portland Street
02139 Cambridge Massachusetts


edX For Business helps leading companies upskill their labor forces by making the world’s greatest educational resources available to learners across a wide variety of in-demand fields. edX For Business delivers high-quality corporate eLearning to train and engage your employees...

Read more and show all training delivered by this supplier