AbstractsPolitical Science

Between norms and Interests : EU democracy promotion in the Mediterranean neighbourhood

by Nina Meyer Stensholt

Institution: University of Oslo
Year: 1000
Keywords: VDP::240
Record ID: 1278897
Full text PDF: https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/14881



Democratic principles have traditionally not been an important aspect of the EU s foreign policy in the Mediterranean region, yet, with the launch of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), promotion of political reforms and norms appears to take on a more prominent role in the EU s Mediterranean policy. This analysis seeks to explain this emerging emphasis on democracy promotion in the Mediterranean region. Based on an analytical distinction between pragmatic, ethical-political, and moral arguments, this study suggests that the EU s democracy promotion is founded on more than utility considerations. In fact, it indicates that a sense of liaison-based duty to assist close neighbours is particularly important in understanding the focus on democratic principles in the ENP, and finally, that moral commitments appear to play a role, even if only an adjusting one. Hence, in light of the literature on the EU s foreign policy, and in particular its so-called normative dimension, these findings present a nuanced picture and suggest that the EU s democracy promotion is neither a purely interest-based nor norm-based policy, rather it has elements of both, yet with a greater emphasis upon the latter.