The European Union and the Developing Countries: The Cotonou Agreement

The European Union and the Developing Countries: The Cotonou Agreement

The European Union and the Developing Countries: The Cotonou Agreement

The European Union and the Developing Countries: The Cotonou Agreement

Synopsis

The relationships between the European Union and developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (or ACP countries) have been called a model for North South development cooperation. The Lomé Conventions were the embodiment of this model. After 25 years, the European Union and the ACP group signed a new partnership agreement, the Cotonou Agreement. Given the disappointing results of the former conventions, this book investigates the innovations in the EU-ACP relationship. Authors from different backgrounds (including law, political science and economics) analyze the forces that gave rise to the new agreement as well as the negotiating process of the new agreement, and the negotiations that are taking place to produce the planned Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) that are to replace the existing non-reciprocal trade preferences that are incompatible with WTO law. The potential benefits of EPAs are discussed, as is the alternative in the shape of an improved and general preferential system. The amended mechanism for aid delivery, the increased stress on political dialogue between the partners and the introduction of more civil society participation in the cooperation are extensively analyzed and discussed. The effects of the introduction of the Euro and the effect of the planned stimuli on Direct Foreign Investment in ACP economies make this volume very complete in coverage of the ACP-EU relations. Its relevance extends far beyond the ACP-EU relationship as it shows and discusses particular solutions for problems that occur in North South relations in general.

Excerpt

This conception of this project dates back to the European Studies Association (EUSA) meeting in spring 1999, where both of us had separately presented papers on the on-going negotiation of the future of the enduring relationship between the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union (EU). Our panel of four presenters, which was wellattended, was the only one devoted to the subject of EU–South relations at the biennial meeting. Moreover, our quick and unscientific analysis of the volumes on display at the Book Exhibition hall revealed a paucity of scholarship on EU–South relations in general, and ACP–EU relations in particular. This seeming lack of interest in the topic inspired us to contemplate an edited volume, which would enable a comprehensive analysis of the future of the ACP–EU relations from a team of experts on the subject. We set out to sketch the volume, its chapters, and sequence before approaching contributors. Our hope was to edit a volume as though we were the co-authors as opposed to the co-editors, by minimizing the inevitable overlaps between chapters, while maintaining a consistent level of sophistry without being needlessly esoteric throughout the volume.

Following in the ensuing chapters of this volume are original contributions by scholars in their own rights on the subject of ACP–EU relations. the analyses are, by design, invariably and universally descriptive, positive, and conjectural rather than theoretical, normative, and retrospective. We hope that this volume will fill a noticeable void in the scholarship on the eu, and that we have produced a reference book that can be useful to students and practitioners of ACP–EU relations and international development.

We would like to acknowledge many people who, by their direct and indirect support, helped to make this project a reality. Foremost, we want to express our gratitude to the contributors for their contributions and for their patience with the editors in bringing this project to fruition. We thank anonymous referees for their useful suggestions. Finally, we acknowledge Georgia Lessard and her wonderful staff, especially Kay Stroehle, at Thunderbird's Instructional Program Development and Support department for their invaluable assistance on this project. We are grateful to all of the contributors who have participated in the project.

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