Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Dynamics of EU Development Policy after enlargement

01 October 2007 - 31 March 2009

2004 and 2007 saw ten states from Central and Eastern Europe become members of the European Union. Never before had so many recipients of EU aid joined the Union and taken on the commitment to become aid donors.

This project examined the impact of this accession in the area of EU development policy. It explored three questions. Firstly, what are the key challenges facing the new donors? In particular it found a lack of administrative capacity within governments, low levels of political will and public awareness. Secondly, it assessed how the development policies of the New Member States (NMS) have evolved since accession. It found that many are struggling to meet aid targets and that their geographical focus of aid differed from many of the 'old' member states, with the major focus of their development policy being on neighbouring countries, in particular the former Yugoslavia and CIS states. Finally, the project explored the challenge presented by Eastern enlargement for EU development policy by examining the impact of enlargement on EU-ACP relations and the future of the EDF.  Overall it concluded that the NMS do not at present have the political and public will, nor the government structures in places to try and significantly alter its current direction. Development is still not a high political priority, due, in part, to a 'lower level of familiarity with development aid issues' (EuroBarometer, 2007, p. 8) but also as the NMS continue to grapple with the effects of their rapid economic transition.

Project Publications

Lightfoot, Simon (2008) 'Enlargement and the challenge of EU development policy', Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 9:2, 128 – 142

'Growing pains: development policy in the new Europe', Networker 79, (The British Overseas NGOs for Development’s bi-monthly publication) April 2008

Knowledge Transfer

Development Day organised by the Socialist Group of the European Parliament 1/10/08 in the Romanian Parliament

Informal Staff seminar for EU-directorate of Department for International Development

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