EU Development Cooperation: From Model to Symbol

EU Development Cooperation: From Model to Symbol

EU Development Cooperation: From Model to Symbol

EU Development Cooperation: From Model to Symbol

Synopsis

It is increasingly recognized that EU development cooperation policy has failed to meet its stated aims. In this book Arts and Dickson ask the obvious and important question: if the policy doesn't work, why bother with it? The authors assess why EU development policy has become largely ineffective, citing among the external causal factors the liberalisation of trade, and the growing influence of US and international actors such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund upon EU policy. It also considers contributing factors within the EU such as the enlargement of its membership and the resulting shifts in priorities. It is this analysis of internal and external factors affecting the decline of EU development policy that makes this study both innovative and unique. It brings together an impressive range of contributors from different disciplines resulting in a thorough and intelligent assessment of the debate.

Excerpt

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the European Union (EU) stands out as an important regional organisation. It entertains formalised relations with almost all other (groups of) states. Although much of its attention is devoted to internal integration, obviously the European Union cannot and does not wish to be an isolated entity. Instead it has expressed the desire and ambition to take up a prominent place in the working of international relations. in addition to the general goal of forging good relations with (potential) political and economic partners across the globe, the Union also wishes to use its place in international relations as a vehicle for advocating some of the values it considers important. Among these values are democracy, social welfare, human rights and liberalism.

The eu perceives development cooperation policy as an important tool to serve both missions. Accordingly, an impressive and unique record of development cooperation activities and of structural and comprehensive policy has been built over time. Until the 1990s, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states unequivocally were Europe's most preferred developing country partners, and ACP–EU relations were the most visible and important component of the eu development cooperation programme. ACP–EU relations started at the very creation of the European Economic Community in 1957 and were elaborated first in the Yaoundé and then in the Lomé Conventions and the 2000 Cotonou Agreement. in many peoples' eyes the Lomé Convention came to symbolise eu development cooperation, more so than any other agreement (Grilli, 1993). It linked the eu with a large group of developing countries, many among the poorest, in an innovative agreement which declared itself to operate on the basis of equality of partners. in the 1970s the Lomé Convention was held up as a model for the future of North–South relations in general and eu development policy in particular. the Convention embodied many novel features which seemed to suggest that the eu was prepared to buck the trend in international development and take on board some of the arguments . . .

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