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Exploring the boundaries of conditionality in the EU

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Conditionality in the EU comes in many forms: legally codified and enforced by the Court of Justice, or reliant on intergovernmental bargaining and expressed by means of political or economic (dis)incentives. This European Policy Brief explores the boundaries of the conditionality debate, and assesses what varying degrees of conditionality can and cannot achieve. The overarching objective of conditionality is to foster integration and cohesion amongst the peoples of Europe and their Member States. A sound logic of conditionality must therefore set incentives in such a way that their application contributes to this intended outcome. A balanced combination of political, legal and budgetary instruments can help remedy a major lacuna in the Treaties: the effective protection of the rule of law and democracy.

(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)