Policymakers' Experiences Regarding Coherence in the European Union Human Rights Context
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This report tries to get a sense of how coherence or incoherence appears in practice in the activities and discourse of policymakers in EU institutions, the Member States and in their vertical and horizontal interaction. The report is based almost entirely on interviews with policymakers, which includes primarily EU officials, but is interpreted broadly to include also Member States and non-state actors. Given the emphasis on actors for this Cluster and the Work Package, the report maintains the focus on them, in this case both as the basis for the choice of interview subjects and in terms of the research question, with an emphasis on different actors as potential ‘agents of coherence’. The questions that have been posed during the interviews are based on the findings from previous reports in Work Package 8. They begin with the understanding of coherence developed in Deliverable 8.1, which sees incoherence arising from three potential sources: structural, policy (in terms of competing concepts and visions or policy regimes) and interests. Policymakers have been asked specifically about their own experiences of coherence/incoherence in the context of EU human rights policy. The main body of the report (section II) looks at EU institutions as potential 'agents of coherence' or avenues for incoherence. Through the views of policymakers working in the context of the principal EU institutions, it provides an account of the role of the institutions in promoting or undermining coherence in EU human rights policy, including examples of best practices of coherence, as well as what are considered to be the main sources of incoherence in the views of the policymakers involved. Section III is devoted to Member State policymakers with responsibility for EU policies, and is limited to the analysis of the views of representatives from two Member States interviewed for the present study. Finally section IV is devoted to a thematic case study on 'Coherence in EU Business and Human Rights Policy', which examines how coherence or incoherence appears in practice in the activities and discourse of EU institutions, the Member States and other actors on the subject of business and human rights. Overall, the report has found that different types of incoherence emerge in the work of all EU institutions and bodies. Each EU institution has a role as an ‘agent of coherence’ in EU human rights policy, while at the same time at risk of facing different types of incoherence in its work.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/20.500.11825/94
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