For some observers, the rise of new powers amounts to a fundamental change in world politics. At issue are key features of the current international system, from a liberal world economic order over democracy and the rule of law to security concerns. For many European countries, the only way to cope with these challenges is a more united EU playing a greater role in world affairs. The course will look at this topic from several angles. First, it will look at the actual role played by the EU in various areas, such as climate change, trade, democracy promotion or peace keeping in order to see the strength, weaknesses and consequences of EU action in different issues. Second, it will look at current shortcomings of a stronger EU action and plans to address them in order to contrast rhetoric with reality and to get a realistic image of what is achievable. Topics range from the European external action service and ideas about a ‘normative power’ to policy-specific plans in the military field and in democracy promotion.