This chapter explores the extent to which cohesiveness, coherence and consistency of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) matter for its effectiveness. Much of the academic literature argues that a lack of coherence circumscribes the transformative power of the European Union (EU) in its neighbourhood (da Conceição-Heldt and Meunier 2014; Baracani 2009; Noutcheva 2014). We will argue, in contrast, that problems of consistency caused by conflicting goals undermine the EU’s capacity to promote democracy in the post-Soviet and the Southern Mediterranean space. Whenever the EU applies political conditionality as the key instrument of its external democracy promotion, we see a democratic breakthrough, or higher degree of democratic quality, in ENP countries. The problem is that the EU selectively sanctions non-compliance with its democracy standards. To account for the EU’s inconsistency, we identify the presence of endogenous democratic processes and low risks of political instability as two necessary conditions for the EU to apply political conditionality. If either of them is absent, the EU acts as a status quo power, prioritizing (authoritarian) stability over uncertain (democratic) change.