This article uses the language of governance to explore the relationships between the EU and the states around the Mediterranean. Against the background of multiple legal, policy and institutional arrangements which have been created by the EU since 1995 to frame Euro-Mediterranean relations, the article considers how seemingly different priorities and methods come together. Of particular interest is the EU's stated goal of a 'partnership' across the Mediterranean, which is promoted by the EU at the same time as it seeks to project its own values in the countries just beyond its borders. The article considers the changing nature of 'the Mediterranean' within EU policy-making, as well as the EU's changing priorities, which suggests incoherency but which instead underlines the central role of the EU in a Euro-Mediterranean system of governance. The positive connotations of the language of governance (identified in the first part of the article) are not fully present in the overlapping policy frames since the stated 'partnership' between the two sides of the Mediterranean in a system of governance is not borne out in practice.
- European neighbourhood policy (ENP)
- Euro–Mediterranean relations
- EU policy‐making
- normative power