Classifying the Implementation of the EU's Normative Power in its Southern Neighbourhood: The Role of Local Actors

Assem Dandashly*, Christos Kourtelis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article examines the role of local actors in the implementation of the European Union (EU) norms in the Arab Mediterranean countries (AMCs) after 2011. It argues that their role is determined by two parameters: their degree of involvement in policy formulation and the position of other external actors towards the EU norms. Based on this categorization, the article generates a typology of the application of the EU norms, and claims that their implementation in the AMCs takes a thin or a thick form. The findings of this typology suggest that holistic and Eurocentric narratives of the EU's normative power should be revisited. The implementation of EU norms must be contextualized and is conditional upon the differentiated role of local sectoral actors. For explaining the articulation of the EU's norms, this study considers two key sectors of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy: (1) democracy promotion and (2) sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1523-1539
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Economic development
  • European Neighbourhood Policy
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Normative power
  • democracy promotion

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