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EU External Governance in Neighbouring Countries

Dirk Lehmkuhl, Sandra Lavenex & Nicole Wichmann

abstract This project opens up a new perspective on the interactions between the European Union and its neighbouring countries. Addressing the ongoing debate concerning the role of new modes of governance in Europe, the book focuses on the emergence of joint structures of policymaking between the European Union and its neighbours. The primary objective is to systematically explore the links between sectoral modes of governance and the scope for flexible integration of neighbouring countries at the level of sectoral policy regimes. The project begins with the assumption that the advent of horizontal, voluntary and participatory forms of network governance in various sectors of EU policy opens a new potential for the flexible integration of associated third countries. These new forms of network governance, so the argument goes, allow the extension of the EU’s regulatory scope (rules or policies) as well as the opening-up of pertinent organisational decision-making structures.

Our analytical model explores the relationship between the EU and its neighbouring countries by combining insights from the literature on governance with theories of institutional design and international regimes. The model suggests that network governance may extend to neighbouring countries in policy areas with a strong convergence of interests but with only minor enforcement problems. Echoing (neo)functionalist assumptions, this is most likely to be the case in technical areas of functional cooperation. By contrast, in cases where the EU has strong interests in cooperation but third countries have only low incentives, we expect the EU to pursue more hierarchical modes of external governance through conditionality.

In a genuine comparative perspective, we address EU neighbourhood policies first at the level of overarching institutional frameworks of associations (European Economic Area, Swiss-EU Bilateralism, European Neighbourhood Policy, Northern Dimension, Four Spaces Policy with Russia) and, in a second step, at the level of sectoral policy regimes. Here, we analyse and compare the extent of regulatory and organisational expansion in sectors reflecting different degrees of politicisation: Justice and Home Affairs (asylum, irregular migration, drugs, corruption), environmental policy (transboundary water management), research policy (EU framework programmes), and Transport Policy (aviation traffic, security management and market policies).
   
keywords Justice and Home Affairs (asylum, irregular migration, drugs, corruption), environmental policy (transboundary water management), research policy (EU framework programmes), and Transport Policy (aviation traffic, security management and market policies)
   
partner Sandra Lavenex, Nicole Wichmann
type fundamental research project
status ongoing
start of project 2010
end of project 2011
additional informations
topics Interactions between the European Union and its neighbouring countries.
methods Analytical model
contact Cornelia Kappeler