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Transferring Good Governance in the EU´s Neighbourhood

Final Report Summary - EUTRANSGOV (Transferring Good Governance in the EU´s Neighbourhood)

EUTRANSGOV concentrated on the diffusion of the notion of ‘good governance’ in the neighbourhood of the European Union (EU). This notion, defined as a ‘soft norm’, promoted at the international and the EU levels, is understood here as a way to reinforce institution-building and participation of society in policy making. Policy transfer or diffusion gained momentum in International Relations and EU Studies to highlight changes within and outside the EU. This project complements research on EU enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in establishing an interdisciplinary cartography of the various approaches on the diffusion of norms, institutions and policies. Its analytical framework, combined with an original methodology, allows for the identification of unexplored empirical case studies on the way successful (or less successful) diffusion of norms, institutions and policies take place in EU external relations.

Three objectives needed to be fulfilled to accomplish the project:
Objective 1: to clarify the concepts of policy transfer and related notions in EU external relations.
Objective 2: to elaborate an analytical framework with a pluralist methodology.
Objective 3: to enhance empirical knowledge on the transfer of good governance in the EU’s neighbourhood.

Objective 1 was achieved through research work in various libraries and countries, through the activities of a research group and publications. The interdisciplinary research group on “Normative, policy and institutional transfers in International Relations and foreign policy” (“Normative, policy and institutional transfers in International Relations and foreign policy”) was coordinated at the CERI with a meeting per month between September 2012 and February 2014, then from October 2014 until March 2015. The concepts mobilized in EUTRANSGOV have been presented and discussed at two occasions in this group: in March 2013 and in March 2015. An interdisciplinary workshop, entitled “Policy transfers and norm diffusion: for an interdisciplinary dialogue” was organized on 29 May 2013 at the CERI in cooperation with Laure Delcour (ENA), with leading researchers on policy transfer and area studies in the fields of law, sociology, economy, political science, and IR. The presentations which took place in the research group and in the conferences as well as a reworked version of the analytical framework gave way to the publication of an Etude du CERI in May 2013 and of a special issue at the end of 2014 in the journal Politique européenne – a major journal on European issues in francophone academia (cf. references below). Some contributions were selected in addition to new ones for the publication of a special issue in French submitted to the Canadian journal Etudes internationales and for the publication of a book project in English submitted to a director of collection at Routledge in February 2015. Dissemination work is thus still ongoing at the time of writing this report and will be further conducted after the official end of the MCF project.

Objective 2 was achieved in the sense that the analytical framework and methodology developed in EUTRANSGOV have been presented and discussed at several occasions in France (at the CERI, in Paris II) and abroad (in Cracow, Warsaw, Prague, Frankfurt/Oder, Berlin). As a concrete result, it was published in the introduction of and in a contribution to a special issue of a French journal, Politique européenne, at the end of 2014 (cf. references below). It will be further presented in the ongoing publication of a special issue in French and a book project in English.

Objective 3 was achieved through the collection of literature on the topic of good governance, mainly at the library of Sciences Po, but also of the Free University in Berlin and further online libraries. Several documents were downloaded from the website of international organizations (the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund / IMF), from institutions of the European Union (Council, Commission) and from ministries and agencies of the EU member states. Further empirical evidence was collected through interviews in Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, Tallinn and Brussels. Some elements were also discussed through teaching activities (e.g. in Prague) and presentations at conferences (in Warsaw, Berlin, Paris).

As concrete results, several publications and presentations in France and abroad have highlighted part of the results of the research project, among others the Etude du CERI, the special issue for Politique européenne, the policy papers for the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, the analyses for the DGAP, an article for Questions internationales (etc.). They aimed at diffusing information on the research topic and results among the academic community, decision makers and the larger public. The project also helped the researcher to consolidate and broaden her network of contacts with academic scholars and policy-makers.

Training on the three objectives was organized according to the needs and (time, geographical) constraints of the project, and mainly through the various implementation phases of the project. Transfer of knowledge and integration activities were organized through the creation and coordination of a research group at the CERI. A summary of the presentations and of the discussions was regularly put online on the website of the research group hosted by the CERI, which also contributed to the diffusion of the research results. The meetings mainly beneficiated doctoral and post-doctoral students, but also contributed to discussions with advanced and senior researchers from different social sciences, nationalities and institutions in Paris and abroad.

Diffusion of information regarding the meetings and results of the meetings was organised through a mailing list dedicated to the research group, in addition to the use of the internal and external large-ranging mailing lists of the CERI. The researcher listened to presentations taking place in the framework of other research groups on related topics, commented books and articles in research groups and (on an anonymous basis) for several journals in French and in English. She participated to several international conferences. She has been teaching and publishing during the project as expected, so to discuss the research options and to allow for the diffusion of the research results.