in: Development Policy Review 35 (4), 475-492
One of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty’s objectives was to enhance the coherence of EU-level foreign relations by improving collective action. Policy-level innovations included ‘comprehensive’ and ‘joined-up’ approaches linking EU instruments and actors, especially the Commission and the new European External Action Service. Have these reforms improved policy coherence? We focus on a key EU policy domain illustrating Europe’s engagement with the changing global context: the security–development nexus. Although we find that collective action has improved somewhat since 2010, decision-making is affected by bureaucratic actors catering to specific constituencies. Accordingly, the coherence of security and development policies remains challenged. The EU institutions lack strategic direction, which is unavoidable in a system that lacks clear hierarchy.