Since 1992, the European Community has included in all its agreements with third countries a clause defining respect for human rights and democracy as essential elements' in the EU's relationship. This clause is unique in bilateral agreements. This approach has been further developed in the Cotonou agreement signed with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in June 2000 which is based on respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, and on good governance. This new development policy is firmly grounded on the principle of sustainable, equitable and participatory human and social development. It constitutes a major step in the development of the European Union's policies. As this communication from the European Commission1 in 2001 points out, the European Union has defined itself a role in promoting human rights and democratisation in Third countries. As well, since the relationship between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries has been the most structured and historically important of all those the EU supported, it seems logical to focus on this particular region of the Third World.
[...] Thus Lomé IV introduced a number of policy innovations: the environment; women; and mostly emphasis on human rights. Thus, whereas the agreements had been till then financially disappointing, the introduction of political conditionality as “essential” in Lomé IV was an important step towards EU democratisation concerns in ACP countries. But which where these democratic requirements? 2. Political conditionality : which democratisation? This principle of conditionality applied to the political field, and the demands it requires, is aiming at developing democracy in ACP countries. [...]
[...] This new agreement allowed countries other than former colonial dependencies to ask for membership, extended the development assistance by creating the STABEX ( system of funding for the stabilisation of exports earnings against lower prices or loss of production), promoted the principle of non-reciprocity and introduced the concept of partnership in order to respond to the critics of perpetuated dependency More importantly, this first Lomé Convention brought together the associated African, Caribbean and Pacific states into an institutionalised ACP group.9 It also established an unparalleled kind of First-Third world relationship. [...]
[...] To what extent the European Union's policy in ACP countries has been concerned with democratisation and how effective has it been? First, we will see how the EU's historic concerns have enabled the ACP countries to emerge as a group and have evolved from a purely trade rationale to the promotion of development through more democratisation requirements. This paper will then try to explain these democratisation demands included in the principle of conditionality that the EU has now emphasised as crucial in its ACP foreign policy; but the difficult implementation of this principle will also lead to question the effectiveness of such a policy. [...]
[...] Communications -European Commission May 2001), “Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, The European Union's role in promoting human rights and democratisation in third countries”. -Statement by the European Council and the Commission (s.a.), European Community's Development Policy”. Websites http://europa.eu.int/comm/development/body/cotonou/index_en.htm http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/human_rights/intro/index.htm http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/s05032.htm 1 Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament ,252 final, May 2001, p.4, [WWW document] www.europa.eu.int/comm/development/body/cotonou/maps_en.htm [WWW document] 3 Smith H pp. 183- Holland M.2002, p ibid www.eu.int , EAMA in its French acronym : Benin - Burkina Faso - Burundi - Cameroon - Central African Republic - Tchad - Congo (Brazzaville) - Congo (Kinshasa) - Côte d'Ivoire - Gabon - Madagascar - Mali - Mauritania - Niger - Rwanda - Senegal - Somalia Togo www.eu.int : Lomé I (1975) The Bahamas - Barbados - Botswana - Ethiopia - Fiji - Gambia - Ghana - Grenada - Guinea - Guinea-Bissau - Guyana - Jamaica - Lesotho - Liberia - Malawi - Mauritius - Nigeria - Samoa - Sierra Leone - Sudan - Swaziland - Tonga - Trinidad and Tobago Zambia. [...]
[...] Even if the definition is difficult, good governance implies equity in administration and resource allocation through impartial application of law, a state capacity of effective management of these resources, and transparency in decision-making and accountability. Moreover, civil society should be involved and informed of all the development decision-making. However, the principle has not been defined as an “essential” element in Lomé IV so that it could have been used to sanction any state that failed to meet the standards of good governance. [...]
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