The EU and Africa: The policy context for development

ECDPM/BOND This November 2010 paper from ECDPM and the British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND) seeks to explore the policy context for EU – Africa relations. It gives a brief overview of the changing context in Africa and the EU and then explores the various policy frameworks for EU-Africa relations including analysis of topical themes.

Currently, the traditional dominance of the oldest cooperation framework between the EU and Africa, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, is being challenged by the changing strategic contexts in Africa and in the EU, as well as by the emergence of the new key frameworks of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and the Economic Partnership Agreements. Yet, both of these new schemes are still in the fledgling stages, and many uncertainties surround their future status and value. Stakeholders are as yet unconvinced of their benefits in general and are unsure of their relationship with the Cotonou Agreement in particular. By understanding the political context and institutional aspects of these frameworks, stakeholders in Africa and Europe can seek to engage and influence most specifically the JAES and CPA and, in relation to the latter, the EPAs.

This brief is designed to be of use to non-specialists (particularly BOND members and their partners) in the policy context for EU-Africa relations.

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