Comparative Trends in EU Governance

Submitted by Inge on Thu, 07/04/2019 - 15:16

From the ‘Ordinary’ Method to the Transgovernmental Method?

We observe an emerging split between policy areas that are governed by the Community/Ordinary method, such as more technical single market issues, and politically sensitive policy areas that are governed by what is usually termed as “intergovernmentalism.” However, the governance structures that we see emerging in politically sensitive policy areas cannot be properly described as “intergovernmental” because they display a stable set of new interinstitutional relations, in which the European Commission also plays a varying role, albeit that the Member States overall have a more pronounced role. Hence, we see a shift from “the” interinstitutional balance to the emergence of two different interinstitutional balances: the Ordinary method and the Transgovernmental method.

Transgovernmentalism is characterised by a bigger role for the Member States and a less strategic role for the Commission (and hence the EP and European Court of Justice) compared to the Ordinary method, but goes beyond simple intergovernmental governance, because it is clearly based on standing European practices, meetings with defined procedures and reporting mechanisms. Evidently, the role of the European Parliament is different in both areas. The consequence for the further development of defence policy is that we assume that it will develop along the lines of transgovernmental governance, even though the European Commission and potentially other EU institutions might favour the “efficiency” of a single, Ordinary method, with a more focal role for the European Commission in the interinstitutional balance.

About the authors

Adriaan Schout is Senior Research Fellow and Coordinator Europe at the Clingendael Institute. He combines research and consultancy on European governance questions for national and European institutions. He has worked amongst others on projects addressing issues of the EU presidency, EU integration and improving EU regulation.

Dick Zandee is Head of the Security Unit and Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute. His research focuses on security and defence issues, including strategies, policies, capability development, research and technology, armaments cooperation and industrial aspects.

Wouter Zweers is a Junior Researcher at the ´Europe in the World´ unit of the Clingendael Institute. His research revolves around the external dimension of EU policy making, focussing specifically on the European Neighbourhood Policy, EU enlargement policies and migration.

Julian Mühlfellner is a Research Assistant at the ‘Europe and the EU’ unit of the Clingendael Institute, where he focusses on the role of the European Commission and the European Parliament in EU governance.

Barcode image of European Member States © OMA EU flag © Shutterstock / edited by Textcetera

EU migration policies threat to integration in West Africa?

Submitted by Inge on Wed, 06/26/2019 - 15:47

Do European Union migration policies threaten regional integration in West Africa?

Incoherent Agendas

European Union (EU) policies towards Africa have in the past years experienced a shift away from forging relations based on trade and development, to cooperation based on and measured by the successes of joint migration management. This shift has been producing often controversial outcomes for the EU, African countries and migrants themselves. Just under four years since the pivotal Valetta Summit on migration, the evidence base of these policies’ poor human rights record is growing, as is the evidence base on their localised adverse economic and societal impact.

The impact of EU policies on the regional integration processes in Africa – once a pillar of the EU’s Africa strategy – has, however, not yet been sufficiently documented. But the emerging evidence and policy analysis strongly suggest that the EU policies in West Africa have the power to create incentives and even localised policy outcomes that could in the medium term challenge ECOWAS commitments to freedom of movement, and in that way also likely slow down the processes of regional economic and political integration. Paradoxically, the EU policies aimed at curbing migration may thus also end up slowing down the development processes in West Africa that the EU perceives as one of the key approaches to tackling the root causes of migration.4 It may also lead to a weakening of the existing economic coping mechanisms within these countries, and thereby potentially also to increased migratory pressures.

This policy brief looks at the emerging patchwork of evidence around the impact of EU migration policies on regional integration in West Africa, with a view to offering initial advice to policy-makers on how to prevent the outcomes that could slow down the economic development of the countries of West Africa, further weaken the EU’s human rights record abroad and undermine the long-term goal of sustainable managing migratory pressures on the continent.

About the author

Ana Uzelac is a former Senior Research Fellow with the Conflict Research Unit (CRU) of the Clingendael Institute, where she focussed on migration and conflict 


Migration: Returns at what cost

Submitted by Inge on Fri, 06/21/2019 - 15:40

Challenges of placing readmissions at the heart of EU migration policies

The introduction in 2016 of the comprehensive EU migration partnership strategy with the countries of the north and western Africa has already produced an uneven record - both in terms of policy effectiveness and in terms of impact on the credibility of other long-standing EU policy commitments. Created at a long series of summits and conferences in the past decade, the series of policy measures and financial incentives offered through various agreements and specifically designed funding envelopes has had as its main ambition to lower the number of migrants to the EU by a combination of four main sets of measures:

  • security measures aimed at discouraging and preventing irregular arrivals (border controls, surveillance etc.)

  • measures aimed at tackling the root causes of mass migration (such as job creation, development projects etc.)

  • measures aimed at supporting refugeehosting countries (such as humanitarian and structural development assistance)

  • measures aimed at ensuring orderly returns of all irregular migrants or people whose asylum request has been rejected to their countries of origin – or countries of residence prior to arrival

This policy brief looks at the underlying challenges of implementing EU returns agenda from the point of view of both EU and individual member states – and from the point of view of the countries of origin/transit. It does so on the parallel example of two seemingly quite different cases – Senegal and Morocco.

About the author

Ana Uzelac is a former Senior Research Fellow with the Conflict Research Unit (CRU) of the Clingendael Institute, where she focussed on migration and conflict

 Immigration in Europe


Submitted by Inge on Wed, 04/24/2019 - 15:27

Global Security Pulse: Economic Security

The Global Security Pulse (GSP) allows you to spot new security developments ahead of the curve. This month we present novel and important developments and must-reads on economic security. The topics include foreign takeovers and investments, trade espionage, security of energy supply and more. The fast-changing and increasingly complex geopolitical context has led to extra attention being focused on these issues.

The GSP is a collaborative product between the Clingendael Institute and The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. It is based on Clingendael’s horizon-scan methodology which involves a systematic scan of literature, conferences, twitter and validated expert input (see our Radar Series). It is part of our Strategic Monitor Programme. 

The GSP is accompanied by a methodology paper that explains and justifies the underlying (methodological) choices and reflects upon the process.

Read more Global Security Pulses.


Minke Meijnders and Merel Martens (Clingendael)

Contributors: Hugo van Manen, Paul Sinning (HCSS), Maaike Okano-Heijmans and Danny Pronk (Clingendael)


Strategische Monitor 2017-2018

Submitted by harrietgarvelink on Fri, 04/13/2018 - 09:25

Stilte voor de Storm?
Auteurs: Kars de Bruijne, Minke Mijnders (Instituut Clingendael)
Stephan de Spiegeleire, Frank Bekkers,Tim Sweijs (HCSS)

In de Strategische Monitor 2017-2018 is opnieuw een verscheidenheid aan methodes gebruikt om de ontwikkelingen in de internationale orde te monitoren en te duiden. Deze orde blijkt weerbaarder voor spanningen dan vaak wordt gedacht, en Nederland blijft goed gepositioneerd in dit internationale krachtenveld. De afgelopen vijf jaar gedroegen de grote mogendheden zich assertiever, echter in 2017 was een meer afwachtende houding waar te nemen. Dit is wellicht te verklaren door de onvoorspelbare houding van de regering Trump. Er lijkt dus ondanks alle internationale spanningen sprake van een relatieve strategische luwte. Of is dit slechts een stilte voor de storm? 



Submitted by harrietgarvelink on Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:19

Authors: Tarja Cronberg (Sipri), Sico van der Meer (Clingendael)

Full title: Working Towards a Successful Policy Brief NPT 2020 Review Conference

Date of Finalization: September 2017

Progress Lot 4, 2017


The 2015 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty failed to reach any consensus. The issues which gave rise to tensions in 2015 have not been resolved, with the inherent risk that the next Review Conference will fail as well. In this policy brief three options are presented here to increase the possibilities for the 2020 Review Conference to succeed.

First, it could be discussed whether the traditional focus on one final consensus document at the end of a Review Conference can be changed, so that tensions on certain topics do not block everything else as well.

Second, new explorations are required to solve the deadlock on the aim to establish a WMDFree Zone in the Middle East.

Third, the nuclear weapons states should show more willingness in accelerating their disarmament efforts, for which some smaller and bigger steps are identified.


A snapshot of Turkey in the run-up to the 2019 presidential ....

Submitted by typify on Sun, 09/24/2017 - 22:55

Author: Asli Aydintasbas (European Council on Foreign Relations,

Full Title: A snapshot of Turkey in the run-up to the 2019 presidential elections

Date of Finalization: September 2017

PROGRESS Lot 2, 2017