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Incoherent policies, asymmetrical partnership, declining relevance?

This book explains how the relationship between the European Union (EU) and Africa has evolved in the first decade of the twenty-first century. For this, it treats the EU as a 'bilateral donor', focusing in particular on the new partnership agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries. It also treats the EU as a 'collective actor', paying special attention to the Joint Africa–EU Strategy (JAES) and a number of EU policies that affect African development beyond aid. The book first sketches the evolution of EU–Africa relations, between the adoption of the Cotonou Agreement in June 2000 and the third Africa–EU Summit held in Tripoli in November 2010. The evolution of EU-Africa relations should be set against two tracks. The first track concerns the programme managed by the European Commission. In this case, the most important change is certainly the adoption of the Cotonou Agreement, which marked a fundamental departure from the principles of the long-standing Lomé Convention. The second track concerns the attempt to create a continent-wide policy towards Africa, under the slogan 'one Europe, one Africa', which started with the first Africa–EU Summit held in Cairo in April 2000. The book also presents some contending explanations, drawing on studies of EU external relations as well as offering a perspective of Africa. It examines a number of policy areas, ranging from more established areas of cooperation to new areas of concern, such as migration, energy, climate change and social policies.

Evolution and explanations
Maurizio Carbone

The evolution of European Union (EU)-Africa relations should be set against two tracks. The first track concerns the programme managed by the European Commission. In this case, the most important change is certainly the adoption of the Cotonou Agreement, which marked a fundamental departure from the principles of the long-standing Lomé Convention. The second track concerns the attempt to create a continent-wide policy towards Africa, under the slogan 'one Europe, one Africa', which started with the first Africa-EU Summit held in Cairo in April 2000. This chapter presents some key concepts of this book. The book describes three widely held assumptions about the role of the EU in Africa: incoherent policies, asymmetrical partnership, declining relevance. It focuses on some of the 'internal' challenges the EU faces to implement a coherent approach towards Africa.

in The European Union in Africa
Maurizio Carbone

The first decade of the 2000s was characterised by a number of important changes in the foreign aid policy of the European Union (EU). This chapter explores the potential trade-offs between donor coordination and recipient ownership in the EU aid relations with sub-Saharan Africa. It provides a concise discussion of the global agenda on aid effectiveness, focusing on the tensions between coordination and ownership. The chapter analyses the supranational programme managed by the European Commission within the context of the Cotonou Agreement. It pays attention to the degree of involvement of actors in the negotiations of two series of multi-annual development strategies. The chapter argues that the preoccupation of the EU (particularly the European Commission) with improving the quality of EU aid by emphasising donor coordination has fatally resulted in reduced ownership by African countries.

in The European Union in Africa