Some overall conclusions and recommendations

  • In practice it has proven difficult for the EU to improve the coherence of its development assistance.
  • Some of these difficulties are internal and inherent to the concept of policy coherence as a governance tool, but others are due to the multiplication of the underlying rationales for the policies that the EU is pursuing abroad.
  • To improve its efficiency and relevance as a development actor, the EU should endeavor to: 
    • make clear the justifications that underlie policy coherence for development, including the reasoning behind trade-offs and prioritizations;
    • set up a permanent organ with the task to assess the EU’s and the member states’ fulfilment of the objectives of cooperation, coherence and complementarity, and improve existing tools for policy coherence.

About the author

Anna Michalski is Associate Professor at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, and associated senior researcher at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs, Europe Programme.

The Delmi Policy Brief 2021:12 is launched on November 16, 2021.