Over the years EU aid has been much discussed and criticized. Besides the accusations of being old fashioned, slow and bureaucratic there is also the complexity of a close neighbourship with the EU’s foreign policy in general, trade and the eternal question for Europe of what to do as a community, and what to do as individual member states. This study cuts through this discussion by simply asking what works and why. Based on a somewhat exclusive version of participant observation the author describes the features that are distinct for EU aid and arrives at the conclusion, that thanks to a reform effort that mainstreamed EU aid these distinct features have become key assets.
Nielson, P. EU Aid: What Works and Why. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2012) 18 pp. ISBN 978-92-9230-539-0 [Working Paper No. 2012/76]