The ACP in the European Union’s
network of regional relationships:
still unique or just one in the crowd?
Karen E. Smith
This chapter analyses the European Union’s relations with five broad regional
groupings: the ACPcountries, the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America and
Eastern Europe. The Union prefers to deal with third countries collectively. It
lays out regional strategies, sets up aid programmes on a regional basis and
concludes specific kinds of agreement with countries in a particular region.
The EU has important
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the European Union (EU) stands out as an important regional organization. This book focuses on the influence of the World Bank on the EU development cooperation policy, with special emphasis on the Lomé Convention. It explains the influence of trade liberalisation on EU trade preferences and provides a comparative analysis of the content and direction of the policies developed towards the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. It looks at the trade-related directorates and their contribution to the phenomenon referred as 'trade liberalisation'. This includes trends towards the removal or elimination of trade preferences and the ideology underlying this reflected in and created by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organisation (GATT/WTO). The book examines the role of the mass media because the media are supposed to play a unique role in encouraging political reactions to humanitarian emergencies. The bolting on to development 'policy' of other continents, and the separate existence of a badly run Humanitarian Office (ECHO), brought the lie to the Maastricht Treaty telling us that the EU really had a coherent development policy. The Third World in general, and Africa in particular, are becoming important components in the EU's efforts to develop into a significant international player. The Cotonou Agreement proposes to end the preferential trade margins accorded to non-least developed ACP states in favour of more liberal free trade agreements strongly shaped by the WTO agenda.
Bank’s policies largely reflect the orientation of the dominant Northern states towards the South, and as such are a good indicator
of the wider political and policy environment within which the EU’s own
development policies have evolved. Throughout, the chapter asks whether the
claimed uniqueness of the original relationship with the ACPcountries has
given way to a more uniform stance among donors. If this is the case, then
the raison d’être for a separate EU development programme may come into
This chapter undertakes this task by assessing three phases
The role of France and French interests in European development policy since 1957
has to be accepted by qualified majority. This
is a fundamental step within the project cycle. ACPcountries usually tend to
privilege their ‘boss’ for market attribution (Ravenhill, 1995). This kind of rebilateralisation of ACP–EU relations can be explained through clientelism
(Ravenhill, 1995) or paternalism (Delphin, 1992). Power does not lie in the
ACP–EU joint institutions but in Community bodies such as the Commission,
the Council of Ministers and the EDF Committee, and also in the EC member
Thus the permanency of bilateral relationship
The unimportance of
Anna K. Dickson
In 1975 the EU operated a pyramid of preference in terms of market access
and disbursement of development assistance to non-member states. The ACPcountries were at the top of this pyramid, enjoying the most preferred status
in the EU market for their exports, including duty free access for all industrial
products and 80 per cent of agricultural exports. In addition there were special
Protocols for bananas, sugar, beef and rum which guaranteed access to the EU
Security and complex political emergencies instead of development
Gorm Rye Olsen
themselves, as such endeavours might contribute to the creation of a common European identity. As a consequence of
both these purposes, European foreign policy initiatives towards Africa in
reality would become symbolic policy.
European development aid to Africa
As outlined above, development aid is the first of three important dimensions
to be analysed. This section presents the main changes in EU aid to Africa
during the 1990s. As a starting point, there is no doubt that development aid
was the most important policy instrument in Europe’s relations with the ACPcountries
1996; Ayuso 1996). This programme
lasted for a period of four years and focused on non-associated developing
countries and the distribution of funding, which was set around 75% for
Asia, 20% for Latin America and 5% for African countries. When Denmark,
the UK and Ireland became members of the EU in 1973, it prompted discussions about the EU’s external relations which had previously been ignored
due to French pressure (Ayuso 1996; De Pablo Valenciano and Carretero
Gomez 1999). However, pressure from the UK blocked the decision on the
budget for ACPcountries until a
Bureaucratic politics in EU aid – from the Lomé leap forward to the difficulties of adapting to the twenty-first century
Adrian Hewitt and Kaye Whiteman
entry. Surprisingly, in the 1950s
and 1960s (and by some even as late as 1972) Mauritius was seen as a
hopeless case of a labour-surplus economy with a declining core commodity.
In fact it used its European links more extensively than any other and Mauritius is currently referred to not only as a Lomé role-model but also as one of
the few ACPcountries (perhaps the only) really to have developed from the
It is hard now to recall the curious political climate in Europe. De Gaulle’s
celebrated ‘non’ to British entry of February 1963 (greatly to the
Karin Arts and Anna K. Dickson
put forward by the Third World in its quest for a New International Economic
Order (NIEO). Examples include the contractual approach, the non-reciprocal
trade preferences extended by the EU to the ACPcountries and the creation of
a semi-automatic system of financial compensation for unstable export earnings from agricultural commodities and mining products, the so-called Stabex
and Sysmin mechanisms (Arts, 2000: 127–34).
The high hopes engendered by the Lomé Convention have not been realised.
Lomé has not been replicated
The impact of EU membership and advancing integration
. Scappucci (eds),
The European Union and Developing Countries, Houndmills: Macmillan.
Byron, J. (2000), ‘Square dance diplomacy: Cuba and CARIFORUM, the European
Union and the United States’, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean
Studies, no. 68, pp. 23–45.
CEC (1996), ‘Green Paper on Relations between the European Union and the ACPCountries on the Eve of the 21st Century: Challenges and Options for a New Partnership’, COM(96) 570 final, Brussels, 20 November.
CEC (2000a), ‘Communication on the European Community’s Development Policy’,
COM(2000) 212 final, 26