Improving Coherence in External Relations
Chapter 7: Conclusion: understanding external (in)coherence and its implications for the future
The conclusion reviews the main findings of the book and identifies four answers to the central research question. The external policy of the EU towards Russia is lacking coherence, despite extensive institutionalization, a catalogue of formally stated objectives and repeatedly articulated political will, because (1) there is insufficient coordination between different actors and policy objectives; (2) there are partly insufficient coordination mechanisms, inexpedient institutional reform, path dependencies and unintended consequences; (3) internal and external challenges continuously question the fundamental norms and values of the EU–Russia relationship; and (4) there are policy episodes when the conflict between the EU’s milieu and possession goals can neither be avoided nor resolved. The chapter then discusses these findings and assesses their implications for policy-making and future research.
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