in: The European Journal of Development Research 28 (1), 30-43
This article discusses the trajectory of policy coherence for development (PCD) in the European Union (EU). In particular, it argues that the strong focus on institutional mechanisms, conceived as a way of overcoming different types of resistance, has had the effect that results achieved have by no means been commensurate with the expectations raised by the various reforms launched over the years. EU Member States have paid lip service to the importance of PCD without translating commitments into more coherent (national and supranational) policies. Moreover, an analysis of the Impact Assessment (IA) – one of the key mechanisms to promote PCD at EU level – prepared for the reform of the EU’s agricultural and fisheries policies in 2011–2013 shows how bureaucratic arrangements have substantially failed to clarify the real impact of EU policies on (different types of) developing countries. The conclusion is that successful promotion of PCD is more than just having the right arguments and ensuring sufficient technical support, but is first and foremost a political undertaking.