Institutional Governance of European Neighbourhood Policy in the Wake of the Arab Spring

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Series Details Vol.37, No.1, January 2015, p19-36
Publication Date January 2015
ISSN 0703-6337
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This paper analyses the goals and instruments of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) before and after the Arab Spring, and enquires why there has been little substantive change in the European Union’s (EU’s) approach to the neighbourhood, notwithstanding the acknowledged opportunity for democratic change and the EU’s stated willingness to contribute to it. It argues that the institutional governance of the ENP has largely conditioned the EU’s response to the historic changes in the neighbourhood. The EU’s actorness has been tamed by the underlying differences among EU member states and this has particularly played out in policy areas where the EU institutions have less freedom to act on behalf of the Union. Overall, the EU has asserted itself as neither a strategic actor nor a normative power, but rather as a bystander, trapped in its internal institutional process and passively reacting to crisis events by proposing long-term solutions with little short-term impact.

This article is part of a Special Issue of the Journal of European Integration.

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