On December 8th and 9th 2007 the summit of African and European leaders has hold in Lisbon. It is the second ever Summit between heads of states and governments from EU and Africa after the Cairo Summit in 2000. The 52 countries of the African Union, the 27 European member states, and the kingdom of Morocco attended it last week-end to settle a new Euro-African agreement in a summit that is both addressing the issues of trade, debt, political issues, peace building and conflict prevention, and development. We will especially focus on this last issue. The today's EU is the first trade power in the world. It owns one quarter of the world wealth and, furthermore, is in first place in the world, as far as public development aid to poor countries is concerned. Today's Africa is often quoted as the last poor continent in the world. It is constituted with 53 countries which present very various states of development.
[...] Indeed, as far as trade, and especially the EPAs, is concerned African countries are divided on whether they should sign it or not. As long as African countries' economies are much diversified they will not agree the EPAs under the same conditions. These few criticisms reveal the matter of considering Africa as a whole. That is, by the way, one of the reasons argued by Lisbon-reluctant people. European development policy toward South Africa has obviously another meaning than European development policy toward Senegal. However, what is important is that the EU considers Africa as a whole and, that way, defines [...]
[...] This is a way for the EU, once more, to preserve peace and security, but also to define its new international role The EU renews its policy toward Africa, and that way defined its new international role A new kind of international role. What the recent Lisbon Summit tells about the EU is how they change their way of imposing itself as an international actor. For decades, economic development strategy applies with trade means was one of its first goal. [...]
[...] Then, it could be argued (and that is what most International Organizations did) that the European development policy toward Africa is more a way of furthering African integration into a Euro-African market than into a world market (which could be more efficient regarding globalization). Thus, the EU strategy concerning African development distinguished from the ones of other International Organisations such as IMF and World Bank An original strategy that distinguish from the usual International Organisations' one During the recent Lisbon Summit, Senegal President Abdullah Wade argued that he wanted to build 5 kilometres of road, and asks it to the IMF or the World Bank, it takes 5 years (one year for deciding, one for sending specialists, and 3 years for does not know He added that “with Chinese people, it only takes 2 days, and that it was what he expected from the EU That citation” (that could seem quite populist) highlights the fact International Organisations are-very often- not anymore trusted by African countries. [...]
[...] Development strategy and common foreign policy toward Africa allows the EU to confirm the efficiency of its model. Through these conventions, the EU has settled a model of foreign common policy. It has proved its ability to determine common goals, apply with a coherent and collegial fashion. Thus, the Euro-African relationship can be read as a model for the EU's diplomacy. The creation of CFSP (Common Foreign Security Policy) in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, is relevant of an European will of having a common coherent foreign policy, therefore, the example of Africa can be a model for the other European policies, such as CFSP regarding organisations, plans, as well as decision making process. [...]
[...] Africa can no longer afford to be isolated from the rest of the world because of its trade organisation. The EU criticises the action of WTO which allows subsidies from and to the western countries, and isolate Africa as well as other ACP-countries. The EU finds interests in African integration economy. First, because it gives it a new role in international trade organisations; secondly because it brings economic advantages to itself. This EU policy is led by a will of gradual liberalization of both Africa and European Union, and by the settle of free-trade-zones in these areas. [...]
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