The EU is currently negotiating a successor to its Cotonou Agreement of year 2000 with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. The political and economic context has changed enormously over the past two decades, with trade relations between the EU and the more developed ACP countries now largely regulated by bilateral and regional Economic Partnership Agreements. Since 2015, in line with international sustainability targets, social and environmental aspects must be taken into account in international treaties, while in 2018 the African Union (AU) agreed to establish an African Continental Free Trade Area. A successor to Cotonou offers an opportunity to modernise the rules on issues including investment, services and migration. This could also generate greater interest in the talks in Germany and the EU. But the cooperation need to be placed on a new foundation and the African states will have to decide whether they want to negotiate together, as a continent. (Autorenreferat)
This paper is based on my thesis work, currently titled “A regionally integrated Pacific: made in the European Union’s image. ” It will present the theoretical framework of the thesis, which aims to examine the extent to which the capacity exists among Pacific Island states to construct a functioning regional free trade area, as envisaged under the European Union’s Pacific Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), launched in Suva in September 2002. The framework is concerned with identifying the elements of successful integration and cooperation schemes, in order to develop ways in which commonality and political linkages may be defined in the Pacific, as well as generally, since the EPA framework is also intended to be transferable throughout the Third World. In particular, the framework will draw on and utilise models of the political economy of underdeveloped states, developed by W.A. Axline (1977 & 1979) to analyse the politics of regionalism. Consequently, the framework represents a political economy approach to development by locating integration theory in the broader context of development studies. A brief discussion relating the framework to Pacific Island political culture and the principles of the EPA will illustrate the framework. The paper will suggest that integration in developing states requires an intensification of political capacity, as regional free trade would increase the stakes of cooperation. Hence, the European Union’s development policy may be contradictory in approach, given the nature of Pacific Island political cooperation.-3-
The European Union (EU) has initiated an ambitious, yet challenging process of reform. Improving external relations and the management of development aid is a key component of the current reform of the European Community (EC). This article reviews EC policies and strategies aimed at preventing conflict and responding to the crises of governance using political dialogue and governance conditionality as their main instruments. It explores the difficult combination of democracy assistance and governance conditionality and their applicability to the prevention of democratic decay in developing countries. It successively addresses the policy, strategy and implementation dilemmas of EC democracy and governance activities in third countries, reviewing the policy responses of the EC to the crises of governance in Niger, Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire and Fiji in the context of the suspension mechanism enshrined in the co-operation agreement between the EU and ACP countries. It is argued that conducting structured political dialogue puts further demands on the management of aid. While punitive forms of political conditionality have proved largely ineffective, an incentive-based approach to governance conditionality could yield, if well managed, greater results. The article concludes with a series of proposals for enhancing the European Commission’s ability to manage political dialogue and
The African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Group of States is an intergovernmental organization established by the Georgetown Agreement in June 1975, and it consists of 79 countries across three continents. This heterogeneous cluster of countries, originally bound by their colonial ties with the member states of the European Union (EU), came together out of the need to form a common front in the negotiations of the first ACP–EU partnership. The spirit of the Lomé Convention (1975–2000), initially considered a very progressive model of North–South cooperation, gradually evaporated; thus, the Cotonou Agreement (2000–2020), with its profound changes in the areas of aid and trade, was an attempt to normalize relations between the two blocs. The overall patchy record of the various ACP–EU partnership agreements and a number of events—notably, decreased interest within the EU, intensification of regionalization dynamics in the ACP Group, and adoption of separate strategies for cooperation with African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries and regions—cast doubts upon the relevance of the ACP–EU framework and threatened the existence of the ACP Group. Unsurprisingly, the launch of the negotiations in September 2018 for a new ACP–EU partnership was not without difficulty. While there are no doubts that the ACP Group has intrinsically been linked to the EU, at the same time it should be noted that it has attempted to promote intra-ACP cooperation, although with mixed successes at best, and to strengthen its presence in the international arena and diversify its partnerships, also in this case with limited results. Indeed, despite various pledges to support the principles of unity and solidarity, the effectiveness of the ACP Group has been compromised by the interplay of a plurality of interests, limited financial resources, and a perceived delinkage of the Brussels-based institutions from ACP national capitals. The revision of the Georgetown Agreement in December 2019, including the transformation into the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), is an attempt to reinvigorate the ACP Group, with stronger emphasis on financial sustainability, joint action for the pursuit of multilateralism, and, importantly, increased autonomy from the EU.
We will argue in this article that there are a number of forces impacting the longstanding ACP-EU relationship that are altering the nature of the relationship in a fundamental way. We will first analyze the forces that make these changes inevitable. In section II we discuss the forces in the environment of the ACP-EU cooperation. In section III we will look at the effectiveness of the Lome model. Section IV will analyze the Cotonou Agreement, while section V will look at the implementation of the new agreement. Section VI summarizes & concludes. 3 Tables, 1 Figure. Adapted from the source document.