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Governance Networks in the External Dimension of the EU Migration Policy: Europeanisation through the Grapevine?

Daniel Wunderlich

An often overlooked dimension of the EU's influence is the Europeanisation of non-member states. While Europeanisation in the case of member states and accession countries stems from the supranational influence of EU law and the increasing integration also in intergovernmental areas like Justice and Home Affairs, the EU influence in co-operation between with third countries has been undertheorised. Based on neo-institutionalist theory, the analysis of the organisational field of the external dimension of EU migration policy shows complex interdependence between actors of multiple origins involved in implementation such as national ministries in member and non-member states, international organisations and EU agencies. The structure of actors' relations can therefore be best understood as networked governance which is neither hierarchical nor purely ad-hoc and voluntary. Complex interdependence leads to mutual influence whereby actors on all sides can impact on policy outputs. EU-influence is therefore dependent on the compatibility of understandings of migration and approaches to deal with it as well as administrative capacities in the coordinating and implementing bodies. Rather than being dominated by EU actors, international organisations and actors in third countries can be considerably empowered by Europeanisation. The process is hence not unidirectional but has multiple feed-back loops and with considerable repercussions. This will be exemplified by empirical results from EU cooperation on migration with Morocco and Ukraine.

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