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The European Union's Development Policy: Caught between Creeping Securitisation and the Challenge of Nexus Management

Mark Furness, Stefan Gaenzle

According to the Copenhagen School, 'securitisation' refers to a process by which issues not necessarily associated with security are transformed into security issues through discourses that emphasise threat. One obvious indicator for securitisation in EU development policy is that references to security concerns are routinely included in development policy statements and documents. But if we are to argue that development policy has become 'securitised' then we must be clear about whose security the policy area is supposed to serve. If policymaking and implementation are driven primarily by concerns about the security of the donor to the detriment of socio-economic development in partner countries, then the securitisation critique is appropriate. If, on the other hand, policies and aid allocations are aimed at improving the security and stability of partner states and their populations as a basic condition for socio-economic development, then the critique is not appropriate, even if stability and security in the partner country also serves the interests of donors.This paper discusses three potential indicators of securitisation in the European context: (1) discursive practices, (2) institutions and instruments and (3) aid allocation. We conclude that while there are undeniable parallels between aid allocations and countries that are important for security reasons, aid is (mostly) programmed in accordance with OECD-DAC criteria. Furthermore, the EU's engagement with post-conflict and fragile countries is (mostly) directed more towards conflict prevention and establishing the conditions in which socio-economic development can take place, than towards securing Europe in the first instance.

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