Policy integration in the EU governance of global food security

Candel, J.J.L.; Biesbroek, G.R.


The global food price spikes of 20078 and 2010 led to increased awareness of the complexity of food (in)security as a policy problem that crosscuts traditional sectoral, spatial and temporal scales. At the European Union (EU) level, this awareness resulted in calls for better integrated approaches to govern food security. This paper addresses the question of to what extent these calls
were followed by an actual shift towards better integrated EU food security governance.We address this question by applying a processual policy integration framework that distinguishes four integration dimensions: (i) the policy frame, (ii) subsystem involvement, (iii) policy goals, and (iv) policy instruments. The empirical body of evidence for assessing shifts in these dimensions draws upon an extensive analysis of EU documents complemented with interview data. We find that policy integration advanced to at least some degree: the policy frame expanded towards new dimensions of food security; a wider array of
subsystems started discussing food security concerns; food security goals diversified somewhat and there was an increased awareness of coherence and linkages with other issues; existing instruments, including internal procedural instruments, were expanded and made more consistent; and new types of instruments were developed. At the same time, significant differences exist between policy domains and policy integration efforts seem to have come to a halt in recent years.We conclude with various policy recommendations and suggestions for follow-up research.