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Democracy promotion through functional cooperation? The case of the European Neighbourhood Policy

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This contribution explores whether and under what conditions functional sectoral cooperation between the EU and the countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) promotes democratic governance. In an analysis of four countries (Jordan, Moldova, Morocco, and Ukraine) and three fields of cooperation (competition, environment, and migration policy), we show that country properties such as the degree of political liberalization, membership aspirations, and geographic region do not explain differences in democratic governance. Rather, sectoral conditions such as the codification of democratic governance rules, the institutionalization of functional cooperation, interdependence, and adoption costs matter most for the success of democratic governance promotion. We further reveal a notable discrepancy between adoption and application of democratic governance in the selected ENP countries that has not been remedied in the first five years of the ENP.

Keywords: European Neighbourhood Policy; European Union; functional cooperation; Middle East and North Africa region; Newly Independent States; democracy promotion; democratic governance; qualitative comparative analysis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for Comparative and International Studies (CIS),ETH Zurich, Switzerland 2: Institute of Political Science,University of Lucerne, Switzerland 3: KFG ‘The Transformative Power of Europe’,Free University of Berlin, Germany 4: Centre for EU Studies,Ghent University, Belgium

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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