An Essential Companion
Edited by Kolja Raube, Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Jan Wouters
Chapter 17: The European Parliament as an agenda setter of EU policy toward its neighbourhood
The main objective of the chapter is to assess the agenda-setting role of the European Parliament in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). In the course of years of functioning of this policy the European Parliament became the main arena of legitimizing practices for the ENP. Moreover, through discursive constructions as regards the role of the EU in the world the European Parliament contributed to the (re)formulation of the ENP and significantly influenced the process of foreign policy making in the EU. The main attention in the chapter is paid to the formulation phase of the decision-making cycle, and in particular to agenda setting – defined as the EP’s ability to influence the content of external relations toward the neighbourhood. The chapter analyses four main strategies of increasing the agenda-setter position the EP is using as regards the ENP. Additionally, utilizing data on the contestation of the ENP in the EP plenary debates between 2004 and 2011, the self-prescribed functions of the EP in EU relations with its neighbourhood are discussed.
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