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, 19-22 September 2011.
Aim of the paper • to explain the initiation of the initiation and implementation of Latvian development co-operation policy (DCP), 2000-2010. • 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
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
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.
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.
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 0.06-0.07% 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
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