The European Union as an International Donor: Perceptions from Latin America and the Caribbean

March 22, 2021   Ani Harutyunyan

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In an era of doing development differently, it is highly important to analyse how priorities of partner countries around the world reinforce or contradict how donors conceive themselves. Based on an elite survey and fifty elite interviews, the current research analyses the connection between the agenda-setting and policy implementation stages in international development. In particular, by looking at the Latin American and Caribbean perceptions of the European Union as an international donor, the analysis finds misalignment between the stated objectives of the EU and the metrics of success that Latin American and Caribbean partners use to judge donors as influential and helpful. The paper shows that this misalignment can explain the limitations of EU potential entrepreneurship in international development through both agenda-setting and policy implementation. Moreover, the analysis finds that Nordic countries outrank the EU in terms of both perceived influence and perceived helpfulness in Latin America and the Caribbean, as do other non-European donors like the United States.