The European Union’s Development Policy: A Balancing Act between ‘A More Comprehensive Approach’ and Creeping Securitization

  • Mark Furness
  • Stefan Gänzle
Part of the Rethinking International Development Series book series (RID)


More than a decade after the release of the European Security Strategy (ESS) in 2003, its affirmation that development and security policy should work together is still one of its most discussed features. The vision of a more comprehensive — if not integrated — approach to security and development was underwritten by substantial changes to the EU’s external relations bureaucracy following the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. This ambition raises several important questions regarding the potential ‘securitization’ of EU development policy and foreign aid. Have security concerns had a growing influence on EU development policy and aid allocation? Do key concepts that have become prominent since the ESS was launched, such as ‘fragile states’ and ‘comprehensive approach’, reflect how European policymakers perceive the new reality of global development? Are resources that are supposed to support socioeconomic development being diverted for other purposes? This chapter addresses these questions by discussing the evolution of EU policies and aid practices at the interface of security and development since the turn of the 21st century. We are interested in how the EU manages tensions between security and development objectives, whether this can properly be understood as ‘securitization’ in the critical sense, or whether we should see it as a positive trend towards greater coherence.


Security Policy European Council African Union Lisbon Treaty Fragile State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Mark Furness and Stefan Gänzle 2016

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  • Mark Furness
  • Stefan Gänzle

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