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Europeanization of Latvian Development Co-operation policy: The process interrupted? by Péteris Timofejevs Henriksson Department of Political Science.

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Presentation on theme: "Europeanization of Latvian Development Co-operation policy: The process interrupted? by Péteris Timofejevs Henriksson Department of Political Science."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Europeanization of Latvian Development Co-operation policy: The process interrupted? by Péteris Timofejevs Henriksson Department of Political Science Umeå University EADI/DSA conference Rethinking Development in an Age of Scarcity and Uncertainty, York, September 2011.

3 Aim of the paper to explain the initiation of the initiation and implementation of Latvian development co-operation policy (DCP), –why did Latvia initiate a DCP in early 2000s? –why did Latvia chose an extreme gradualist approach to designing and implementing its commitments vis-à-vis the EU after 2004? –why did Latvia cut so abruptly its bilateral DCP in 2008? to contribute to the so-called Europeanization literature that focuses on the adjustment processes in the EU new member states – with particular focus on the period after the accession to the EU in 2004 –with particular focus on the EU policies that lack clear enforcement mechanisms

4 Method The paper – part of a comparative study of Europeanization processes in Latvia and Slovenia –Latvian DCP – relatively low levels of ODA/GNI, even among the CEECs; an almost non-existent bilateral DCP (after 2008) –Slovenian DCP – relatively high levels of ODA/GNI among the CEECs; a small (20% of total Slovenian ODA) bilateral DCP. Causes-of-effects, qualitative approach – how to explain the outcomes? Process-tracing – document studies and interviews

5 Expectations External adjustment pressure –the enlargement 2004 –the so-called Barcelona process Constructivist (social or policy learning) literature –As Latvia did not have any substantial experience with conducting a DCP, the country would be open to persuasion, involve in a policy learning exercises and, slowly, initiate, formulate and implement its own DCP. –Observable implications: Norm entrepeneurs, traces of persuasion, domestic resonance, arguments about legitimacy, traces of identification. Rational Choice Institutionalist (strategic calculations) literature –As Latvia did not have any substantial experience with conducting a DCP, the country would adopt a DCP only to be allowed to join the EU, but after the accession the policy evolution would considerably slow down or be rejected. –Observable implications: Monitoring/reporting in the pre-accession period, salience of strategic motives in the policy-making.

6 Findings Initiation – before 2004 –The EU pressure – the pre-accession (acquis) conditionality –The Latvian response is to adopt a DCP, establish the basic policy structures, increase the allocations to ODA –Strategic calculation MoF being skeptical about the costs of DCP, MFA arguing that DCP is a pre-condition for the EU membership –Little evidence of social learning processes, with exception, the training seminars, mentoring exercises at the level of desk officers or the Heads of Unit.

7 Findings – ctd. Implementation – after 2004 –No EU pressure, only the diffuse peer pressure (the Monterrey process & monitoring) –The Latvian response – to institutionalize its DCP, slowly increase ODA, but ODA/GNI stagnates (around % of GNI), in 2008 – the bilateral DCP effectively abolished. –Strategic calculation how much to increase ODA to appease the EU? – Social factors references to the low popularity of the DCP DCP as a non-issue inwards-orientation of the political elite

8 Latvian foreign aid as ODA/GNI,

9 How to explain the outcomes? Why did Latvia initiate a DCP? Why did the initiation was successful? –The pre-accession conditionality –Low perceived adjustment costs, high perceived benefits (the EU membership) Why did Latvia fail to implement fully its commitments regarding the increase of ODA and thus to implement a fully-fledged DCP? –High perceived adjustment costs –Low policy resonance


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