Royal roads and dead ends. How institutional procedures influence the coherence of European Union policy formulation

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Series Details Vol.39, No.3, April 2017, p333-347
Publication Date April 2017
ISSN 0703-6337
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The European Union has repeatedly committed itself to increase the coherence of its external action, with Policy Coherence for Development being singled out as one of the most prominent cases. This paper investigates how the EU promotes this aim in the policy formulation of different governance areas.

Using a historical institutionalist approach, it focuses on the process dimension of coherence by presenting extensive empirical data to analyse which institutional procedures – such as Commission inter-service consultations – are regularly applied to what effect.

The study discusses the results of tracing the planning of six selected initiatives in fisheries, environment and security policy. It finds that the effective promotion of Policy Coherence for Development does not necessarily depend on the particular policy field and its degree of communitarisation as such but rather on the policy instrument used and especially on the EU institution which conducts the policy formulation.

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