ACP-EU Development Cooperation

ACP-EU Development Cooperation

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Development cooperation between the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) and the countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007. Although bilateral relations have always been and still remain one of the main features of modern development cooperation, it was the Treaty of Rome
Treaty of Rome
The Treaty of Rome, officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, was an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community on 1 January 1958. It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany...

 in 1957 which first established a collective European development policy. The Treaty of Rome granted associated status to 31 overseas collectivities and territories (OCTs) and provided for the creation of a European Development Fund
European Development Fund
The European Development Fund is the main instrument for European Union aid for development cooperation in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific countries and the Overseas Countries and Territories...

 (EDF) intended to grant technical and financial assistance to the countries which were still under European rule at the time. More significantly, however, by means of the Treaty of Rome the six Member States of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 were expressing solidarity with the colonies and OCTs and committed themselves to contribute to their prosperity.

The European Union



Beginning in the 1960s a group of 6 nations in Western Europe, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, created the European Economic Community (EEC). These member states began expanding with the adoption of the United Kingdom, developed into the European Community, a group of 15 nations, and was the foundation for the modern-day European Union

The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States



Similarly to European expansion, at the time of the Treaty of Rome, there were a limited number of nations involved. Beginning with 18 countries and territories that had special relations with the member states, the so called Associated States gained membership, eventually establishing the group known as the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

The Yaoundé Agreements


The first cycle of the EDF
EDF
- Military :* Elmendorf Air Force Base, a United States Air Force Base in Alaska* Estonian Defence Forces, military of the Republic of Estonia* European Defence Force, an international military force by the European Council- Organizations :...

 was designed for a period of five years and took effect in 1959 (now in its 10th cycle and with a budget of €22.7 billion). As it drew to a close, however, many of the OCTs had regained independence and new arrangements were necessary. In 1963, representatives of the EEC Member States and 17 African countries and Madagascar met in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to sign their first partnership agreement in history. The group of developing countries which signed the final agreement were granted preferential trade arrangements such as the duty-free access of specified African goods into the European market. In addition, it was agreed to continue support via the EDF and the European Investment Bank
European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank is the European Union's long-term lending institution established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome. A policy-driven bank, the EIB supports the EU’s priority objectives, especially European integration and the development of economically weak regions...

 (EIB) (p.29).

In 1969 the agreements made in the first Yaoundé Convention
Yaoundé Convention
The Yaoundé Convention was a convention signed in the city of Yaoundé, Cameroon between the EC and ASMM .-The First Convention :...

 were renewed by the second Yaoundé Convention which lasted until 1975.

One of the most important aspects of Yaoundé was its foundation on the recognition of national sovereignty
National sovereignty
National sovereignty is the doctrine that sovereignty belongs to and derives from the nation, an abstract entity normally linked to a physical territory and its past, present, and future citizens. It is an ideological concept or doctrine derived from liberal political theory...

 of all participating countries. It was furthermore not only unprecedented in its form but also unique in its comprehensiveness, covering aspects from financial and technical assistance (through the EDF) to investment and capital movements (through the EIB) to trade preference
Trade Preference
A Trade Preference is when one country prefers buying goods from some other country more than it would from other countries. It grants special support to one country over another. It is the opposite of a Trade Prohibition.-See also:*Trade Mandate...

s. The structure established in Yaoundé remains the framework for many aspects of ACP-EU cooperation until today.

The Lomé Conventions


The Yaoundé II Agreement expired in 1974 and was succeeded by a new Convention, signed in and named after the capital of Togo
Togo
Togo, officially the Togolese Republic , is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. It extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, on which the capital Lomé is located. Togo covers an area of approximately with a population of approximately...

: Lomé
Lomé
Lomé, with an estimated population of 737,751, is the capital and largest city of Togo. Located on the Gulf of Guinea, Lomé is the country's administrative and industrial center and its chief port. The city exports coffee, cocoa, copra, and palm kernels...

. The establishment of a new preferential trade agreement instead of a continuation of the old one was incited by both unsatisfactory outcomes of the previous arrangement as well as changes in the European political framework. From the developing countries’ point of view, the call for new negotiations was prompted by the strong neo-colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 aspects which were still detectable in the Yaoundé Agreement and the disappointing economic results it had produced. From a European point of view, the development strategy experienced a shift from a regional to a more global approach with the introduction of the Generalized System of Preferences
Generalized System of Preferences
The Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP, is a formal system of exemption from the more general rules of the World Trade Organization ,...

 (GSP) in 1971. Simultaneously, the accession of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 to the European Community in 1973 meant that the Francophone
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

 focus of development policy was soon shifted to include the developing countries of the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

.

The Lomé Convention
Lomé Convention
The Lomé Convention is a trade and aid agreement between the European Community and 71 African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries, first signed in February 1975 in Lomé, Togo.- History :...

 was an attempt to rectify the inefficiencies created in Yaoundé and to address the various points of criticism it had been subjected to. As a result of the enlargement and in line with the more global development policy of the EC a group of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries joined forces to enter into negotiations. The Agreement was signed after 18 months of negotiations in February 1975 by the nine EC Member States and 46 developing countries which became formally known as the ACP countries
ACP countries
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States is a group of countries , created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. The group's main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states, as well as their greater integration into the world's economy...

. Although colonial ties with Europe remained to be a decisive factor for the new signatories’ participation, the composition of the group of developing countries showed a slow diversification of European development policy and therefore silenced some of the voices which had criticised the selective approach of Yaoundé.

The Cotonou Agreement



The relationship between the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) and the ACP group changed significantly during the 1990s. The historical ties which had been the most prominent features of earlier agreements had been eroded and the ACP countries’ importance to the EU was diminished. In the light of the completion of the Single Market
Single market
A single market is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with common policies on product regulation, and freedom of movement of the factors of production and of enterprise and services. The goal is that the movement of capital, labour, goods, and services between the members...

 Programme in 1992 and due to the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, the EU had turned towards development issues which were a bit "closer to home", namely in Central and Eastern Europe
Central and Eastern Europe
Central and Eastern Europe is a term describing former communist states in Europe, after the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989/90. In scholarly literature the abbreviations CEE or CEEC are often used for this concept...

. Although the relationship between the EU and the ACP countries was continued it was marked by the changing political situation of its time. The wave of democratization
Democratization
Democratization is the transition to a more democratic political regime. It may be the transition from an authoritarian regime to a full democracy, a transition from an authoritarian political system to a semi-democracy or transition from a semi-authoritarian political system to a democratic...

 which reached many developing countries after the end of the Cold War led to a previously unknown politicization of development cooperation. Additionally, the continuing absence of the economic rewards expected from Lomé, its continuing incompatibility with General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was negotiated during the UN Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization . GATT was signed in 1947 and lasted until 1993, when it was replaced by the World...

 (GATT)/World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 (WTO) provisions and the complexity the Lomé Conventions had assumed were reasons why a new agreement was drawn up in Cotonou
Cotonou
-Demographics:*1979: 320,348 *1992: 536,827 *2002: 665,100 *2005: 690,584 The main languages spoken in Cotonou include the Fon language, Aja language, Yoruba language and French.-Transport:...

, the capital of Benin
Benin
Benin , officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. It borders Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. Its small southern coastline on the Bight of Benin is where a majority of the population is located...

.

The Cotonou Agreement
Cotonou Agreement
The Cotonou Agreement is a treaty between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States . It was signed in June 2000 in Cotonou, the largest city in Benin, by 78 ACP countries and the then fifteen Member States of the European Union...

 is the latest of the PTAs between the EU and the ACP group. It was signed in June 2000 by 78 ACP countries and the EU-15. It is designed to last for a period of 20 years and is based on four main principles: partnership, participation, dialogue and mutual obligations, and differentiation and regionalisation. Building on the experience of nearly 40 years of development cooperation, the Cotonou Agreement introduced some important innovations.

One of the most significant changes was the introduction of a political dimension to EU-ACP development cooperation. This aspect of Cotonou has been subject to some of its fiercest discussion and criticism because it linked development cooperation to conditionality
Conditionality
Conditionality is a concept in international development, political economy and international relations and describes the use of conditions attached to a loan, debt relief, bilateral aid or membership of international organizations, typically by the international financial institutions, regional...

. Respect for human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

, democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 and the rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

 have become so-called "essential elements" the violation of which can lead to partial or total suspension of development aid
Development aid
Development aid or development cooperation is aid given by governments and other agencies to support the economic, environmental, social and political development of developing countries.It is distinguished...

. Conditionality is one of the issues which have been considered to be undermining the principle of equal partnership on which Lomé was based.

Another important innovation of the Cotonou Agreement was the acknowledgment of the civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

 and especially the private sector
Private sector
In economics, the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state...

 as an essential element to foster economic development, represented in the principle of participation. Therefore, provisions were included at Cotonou which ensured the participation of non-state actor
Non-state actor
Non-state actors are categorized as entities participating or acting in the sphere of international relations; organisations with sufficient power to influence and cause change in politics which are...

s in ACP countries in the policy process of their respective state. Furthermore, the Cotonou Agreement put more emphasis on regional integration within the ACP group and especially in Africa.

The most radical change which the Cotonou Agreement implied was the establishment of the so-called Economic Partnership Agreements
Economic Partnership Agreements
Economic Partnership Agreements are a scheme to create a free trade area between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States . They are a response to continuing criticism that the non-reciprocal and discriminating preferential trade agreements offered by the EU are...

 (EPA's) which are scheduled to take effect in 2008.

See also

  • ACP EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
  • Foreign relations of the European Union
    Foreign relations of the European Union
    Although there has been a large degree of integration between European Union member states, foreign relations is still a largely inter-governmental matter, with the 27 members controlling their own relations to a large degree. However with the Union holding more weight as a single bloc, there are...

  • EU-ACP  Economic Partnership Agreements
    Economic Partnership Agreements
    Economic Partnership Agreements are a scheme to create a free trade area between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States . They are a response to continuing criticism that the non-reciprocal and discriminating preferential trade agreements offered by the EU are...

  • European Development Fund
    European Development Fund
    The European Development Fund is the main instrument for European Union aid for development cooperation in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific countries and the Overseas Countries and Territories...

  • The Courier (ACP-EU)
    The Courier (ACP-EU)
    The Courier is an ACP-EU development magazine published by the Development Directorate General of the European Commission, focusing on ACP-EU Development Cooperation. Financed by the European Development Fund , it is published every two months...

    : The magazine of Africa-Caribbean-Pacific and European Union cooperation and relations

External links