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Political and political economy literature on the ENP: issues and implications

Monastiriotis, Vassilis and Borrell, Mireia (2012) Political and political economy literature on the ENP: issues and implications. Working papers (WP1/05). SEARCH, Barcelona, Spain.

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Seen from the perspective of academic enquiry, the European Neighbourhood Policy sits – sometimes uncomfortably – between the realms of accession/integration and external relations. Given the emphasis of the policy on strengthening security (internally) and stability (externally), and the fact that its structure is largely built on the pre-existing instruments of accession conditionality, the main body of literature examining the ENP is located in the fields of political science and international relations – and, less so, political economy. Consequently, much less emphasis is given on the role of the ENP as a tool for economic development and convergence. The political / institutional literature identifies a number of issues with the rationale, instruments and implementation of the ENP. Analytically, these have to do with three distinctive but inter-related categories. First is the question concerning the ultimate scope of the policy. In the literature, ENP is seen as struggling to meet two sometimes conflicting objectives: on the one hand the establishment of a common security policy with its neighbours and on the other the management of their (real, perceived, or potential) accession aspirations. Following from this, second, is the question concerning the role of the EU in this process and in particular the tension between a normative aspiration to instil ‘European’ values to its neighbourhood and a self-interested goal of achieving narrower economic (market access) and political (security, stability) objectives. Finally, a more central question concerns the effectiveness of the policy at large, given the above tensions. The use of conditionality, modelled as it is on the experience of past enlargements, has a number of unintended, but negative, consequences, as it blurs the objectives and scope of the policy and ‘entraps’ the EU into a constantly deepening process of institutional convergence and integration – which either becomes ineffective due to the absence of the prospect of accession or makes the objective of ‘containing accession aspirations’ largely impractical. In this process, adherence to objectives of democratisation, market openness and integration becomes piecemeal and thus the overall goal of strengthening security and stability through the economic and political development of the EU’s external periphery is potentially compromised.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 SEARCH
Divisions: European Institute
Spatial Economics Research Centre
Hellenic Observatory
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Research centres and groups > Spatial Economics Research Centre
Research centres and groups > Hellenic Observatory
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2015 10:22
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2021 00:22
Projects: FP7-SSH-SSH-2010.2.2.1-266834
Funders: 7th European Community Framework Programme

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