Promoting democracy through economic conditionality in the ENP: a normative critique

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Series Details Vol.39, No.3, April 2017, p287-302
Publication Date April 2017
ISSN 0703-6337
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This article presents a normative critique of the coherence of democracy promotion in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). As an immanent critique, the paper derives its normative standards internally from an analysis of key ENP policy documents.

It is argued that democracy promotion is in conflict with some of the other goals of the ENP such as market liberalisation, trade policy reforms and private sector development. Further, the incentive of market integration is argued to undermine democracy promotion. Though the ENP’s current way of pursuing the goal of democratisation is normatively incoherent, this article also argues that incentivising democratisation through conditionality is not inherently contradictory.

Two potential ways democratisation could be coherently promoted are suggested: delimiting the policy to unilateral transfers conditional on democratisation alone (‘simple transfers’), or offering EU membership to ENP countries (‘no integration without incorporation’).

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