2022 Organisation and Management of Aid Evaluation

Member State Influence in the Negotiations on the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument

Magnus Lundgren, Jonas Tallberg, Camilla Pedersen

After three years of negotiation a new long-term EU budget for (2021–2027) was agreed upon in 2021. The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), which covers the EU’s development cooperation with most third countries, comprises a significant and important part of this budget, entailing that these negotiations represent one of the most impactful development policy processes of the decade. This report provides a unique insight into the negotiations.

Using statistical analysis, the report analyses the success of EU member states in reaching their preferred outcomes on the issues under negotiation. While the report covers all EU member states and key institutions, it devotes special attention to the role of Sweden in the negotiation of NDICI-Global Europe.

The authors conclude that bargaining success in the negotiations was relatively evenly distributed across member states and EU institutions. While no state or supranational actor emerged as a distinct winner or loser in these negotiations when considered as a whole, there were some identifiable differences between categories of member states. Sweden ranks among the most successful countries in the NDICI negotiations, especially when the salience of issues is taken into account.

The report finds that bargaining success in the NDICI negotiations was driven primarily by a member state’s commitment to development, its efforts to persuade other parties at the negotiating table, and its access to the office of the Presidency. Countries that provide a larger portion of their incomes as Overseas Development Assistance also managed to translate this financial commitment into greater weight at the negotiation table. Further, member states that made greater efforts at persuading other parties through being more engaged in the negotiations were also more successful in attaining their objectives.