Trade tensions could overshadow EU-Africa summit

Agence France Presse | 6 December 2007
A row over new trade rules risks souring the mood at this weekend’s EU-Africa summit and underlines the problems Europe faces in forging new relations with its former colonies, according to analysts.

“This is the great fear for the Europeans. That’s why they are trying to hold this kind of discussion as much as possible away from the summit,” said San Bilal of the European Centre for Development Policy Management.

However the European leaders will have a tough job preventing the most opposed among their African counterparts from placing the subject on the summit table in Lisbon on Saturday and Sunday.

According to an articles by Reuters, disputes between Brussels and some African countries have led to accusations that the EU still resorts to old-fashioned bullying in its dealings with the continents.

“We all agree that we should be allied with Europe…but the method is outdated,” Senegal’s president Abdoulaye Wade told television station France 24 on Thursday. “You can’t put us in a strait-jacket, that won’t work.”

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