The European Union’s development policy: a balancing act between ‘A more comprehensive approach’ and creeping securitization

Furness, Mark / Stefan Gänzle
External Publications (2016)

in: Stephen Brown / Jörn Grävingholt (eds.), The securitization of foreign aid, Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 138-162

ISBN: 978-1-137-56881-6

The vision of a more comprehensive – if not integrated – approach to security and development was underwritten by substantial changes to the EU’s external relations bureaucracy following the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. This ambition raises several important questions regarding the potential ‘securitization’ of EU development policy and foreign aid. Have security concerns had a growing influence on EU development policy and aid allocation? Do key concepts that have become prominent since the ESS was launched, such as ‘fragile states’ and ‘comprehensive approach’, reflect how European policymakers perceive the new reality of global development? Are resources that are supposed to support socio-economic development being diverted for other purposes? This chapter addresses these questions by discussing the evolution of EU policies and aid practices at the interface of security and development since the turn of the 21st century.
Although there is evidence for securitization of EU development policy, and some of the aid spent by the Commission has ‘security’ rather than ‘development’ objectives, we argue that these trends are part of a general effort to progress toward ‘coherence’ across the EU’s external policies rather than the purposeful securitization of development policy and aid. Nonetheless, we acknowledge that the EU’s efforts to improve the complementarity of security and development policy raise the risk that securitization may occur as a consequence, which can sometimes have negative implications for ‘core’ development objectives.

About the author

Furness, Mark

Political Science


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