Crisis, Coordination and Coherence: European Decision-Making and the 2015 European Neighbourhood Policy Review

Friday, July 14, 2017
Forehall (University of Glasgow)
Mark Furness , Deutsches Institut fuer Entwicklungspolitik
This article documents the making of the 2015 reform of the European
Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), focusing on the preferences of and coordination
among the member state and EU-level actors responsible for designing the
policy framework. In doing so the article contributes to scholarship on
multi-level decision-making in the EU’s external relations policymaking
system. Drawing on the rich empirical material of the 2015 ENP review, it
argues that an overwhelming perception of crisis among key decision-makers
evolved into a consensus across the various governance levels that the
neighbourhood posed several threats to the EU. This facilitated a joint
effort to coordinate among governance levels to reach a common position on
a narrow set of policy priorities, especially on counter terrorism and
border control. Although this has produced a more focussed and therefore
coherent policy framework, it has also dramatically reduced the ENP’s
ambition. Support for liberal-democratic political and economic
transformation in the EU’s image has been stripped away, leaving a
securitised cooperation framework aimed at increasing 'resilience' to
perceived threats in the neighbourhood.