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'Where you stand depends on where you sit': Bureaucratic Politics in the ENP

Heidrun Maurer

In 2003, the European Union launched the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) with the main objective 'to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours and to offer them the chance to participate in various EU activities, through greater political, security, economic and cultural co-operation'. For the EU internally, the ENP was supposed to bring together EC, CFSP as well as JHA activities in a single and coherent framework, primarily with the intention to overcome the often criticised pillarisation of EU foreign policy making. This paper looks at the roles of different actors within the ENP and at the way this interaction differs from traditional EC or CFSP policy making. Furthermore, the motives of the member states to allow for such a policy framework at European level shall be discussed and reflected theoretically. Bearing in mind the reasons of some EU member states to insist on different pillars in the first place, raises the questions why member states nevertheless allowed for the specific institutional set-up of the ENP. Finally, current ideas of some member states about how to re-structure the cooperation with EU neighbours are compared with the ENP set-up that was until now largely driven and inspired by the Commission.

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