Policy coherence for development in the European Union: Do new procedures unblock or simply reproduce old disagreements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Policy coherence for development (PCD) — the integration of the needs of developing countries into all policy areas — is now an EU policy goal. This article focuses on how far this ambitious goal has been addressed in a policy procedure — impact assessment (IA) — established to support such cross-cutting goals. Drawing on an analysis of the 2006 and 2013 reforms of the EU’s sugar policy, it finds that while IA offered a new venue in which to debate PCD, in practice it reproduced the same disagreements that previously frustrated agricultural reform. The article shows how IA was shaped during its implementation, so instead of functioning as a bureaucratic procedure to pursue policy coherence, it simply buttressed the power of dominant groups. Advocates of policy coherence in general and PCD in particular should therefore be mindful that the toolbox of implementing instruments in the EU may be more limited than sometimes assumed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)375-391
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of European Integration - Revue d'Integration Europeanne
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2014


  • Policy coherence for development
  • impact assessment
  • policy coordination
  • bureaucratic procedures

Cite this