Working Paper 32
You Make Us Do What We Want! The Usage of External Actors and Policy Conditionality in the European Neighborhood
In academic and public debates, external actors have been considered to promote their rules most effectively in third countries in cases of high and asymmetric interdependence. Hence, high interdependence of European Neighborhood Countries (ENC) with Russia has been discussed as a major constraint to EU rule transfer. The case of migration policies, however, represents an odd one out: high degrees of interdependence of the ENC and Russia are coupled with compliance with EU rules, whereas lower degrees of interdependence correlate with shallow and selective compliance. The paper investigates the de facto impact of Russia and the EU on the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) in this highly interdependent policy field and argues for a change in perspective: adopting a stronger bottom-up perspective on power-based approaches of external governance cannot only account for varying compliance records, but also shows how domestic actors can use multiple external opportunity structures to promote their own agenda.