For a More Effective Link between EU Funds and Good Governance

This policy paper examines the EU’s influence over governance in EU aid recipient countries. The main research question is how can an external actor (EU) influence the transition of a society from corruption as governance norm -where public resource distribution is systematically biased in favor of authority holders and those connected with them- to corruption as an exception, therefore a state that is largely autonomous towards private interest and an allocation of public resources based on ethical universalism (everyone treated equally and fairly). We do not know if such a process can be engineered and how current EU tools (aid, sanctions, and trade agreements) work in delivering the goal. We ask if EU aid has succeeded in changing governance for the better in recipient countries, what theories of change explain progress in good governance and how does the EU’s good governance promotion relate to them.

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