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Sharing water on the Iberian peninsula: A Europeanisation approach to explaining transboundary cooperation

Jeanie J. Bukowski
Institute of International Studies, Bradley University, Peoria, IL, USA; jbukow@bradley.edu

ABSTRACT: This paper applies the Europeanisation perspective to the policy change evident in the 1998 Convention on Cooperation for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the Waters of the Spanish-Portuguese Basins (Albufeira convention). The 'top-down' Europeanisation framework is applied here to a case involving simultaneous, joint adaptation to European Union (EU) policy in terms of two states negotiating a transborder agreement that encompasses institutional changes required by that policy. This study provides an analysis of transnational policy change in an area of vital importance in international relations, namely, shared freshwater resources. It finds that while the Europeanisation framework may be applied effectively to transboundary adaptation (not just cross-country comparison) and goes a long way in explaining cooperation on the Iberian Peninsula, it is incomplete in its consideration of other influences within and beyond 'Europe', from the global to the local levels.