A framework for good nexus governance was developed based on literature and cases. Successful nexus policy has many dimensions and is multi scale. It concerns the whole policy cycle and depends on political will, mindset, knowledge management and careful organisation of the process.
Success factors for the policy-making process were categorised into Knowledge management, Dealing with uncertainty and complexity, Social dynamics, Resources and Monitoring. Uncertainty and complexity are intrinsically linked to a nexus approach and require an experimental pathway, so effective monitoring must be in place.
As the list of success factors is extensive, the question arises when nexus governance is ‘good enough’. This must be explored by applying the success factors in practice. European policy for water, land, energy, food and climate reckons with trade-offs.
However, there is no institutionalised procedure for a comprehensive nexus assessment of new policies. The result of such assessment could define the nexus scope of the policy-making process. New integrating themes can stimulate a nexus approach. Such themes are for example circular and low-carbon economy, sustainable production, supply and consumption of healthy food, good management of land and water related to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
These themes cross EU DGs, national ministries and scales, and are hubs for nexus approaches. New institutions, temperate or permanent, can be developed around these hubs to facilitate the nexus policy process.