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Dilemmas of implementation: EU democracy assistance in the Mediterranean

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The article shows how and why, after having agreed upon a programme for democracy assistance under the name of European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the EU fell short of its original objectives in programme implementation. This is demonstrated by close analysis of microprojects in Mediterranean countries. The scope of EU action shrank as priorities for action were defined and projects approved. As a consequence, the EU has promoted democracy less than human rights, in relatively less demanding countries, and without spending all the budgeted money. This article shows how these findings are consistent with important themes in Policy analysis and implementation research, and thus supplements other explanations of EU shortcomings. EU democracy assistance, as represented by the EIDHR, is an ambiguous and contested policy, which also suffers from an institutional setting characterized by a long chain of command. This means that there are opportunities for small decisions to gradually shift the focus and downsize the relevance of the policy initiative. The EU is thus unintentionally undermining its own policy goals, as the large number of actors interpret the EU's best interest (and their own position in relation to it) in various and divergent ways

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/30603/

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