| The Courier N° 145 - May-June 1994- Dossier : European Union: the way forward - Country report: Ethiopia |
Jacques Delors has been President of the Commission of the European Communities since January 1985. As the Treaty on European Union comes into effect, The Courier asked Mr Delors for his views on the major projects now under way, the priority the Commission is giving to employment, the links between consolidating the European Union and admitting new members, relations with the Eastern European countries, the LomÃ© Convention negotiations and, last but not least, 'Afropessimism'.
ACP-KU Cooperation in 1993
In some quarters, the claim that Europe has lost interest in the developing countries of the South is gaining wider currency, but the figures are there to disprove it: in terms of financing decisions, European Union aid to its ACP partners went up in 1993. There was a drop in disbursements, but that was only because this is a very particular kind of cooperation, governed by a number of separate LomÃ© Conventions which have reached different stages in their development, and, unfortunately, because aid to some countries which deliberately flouted their commitments had to be suspended. Considerable progress was also made with regard to the quality of the aid, which focused firmly on poverty alleviation, the protection of natural resources, support for the private sector and decentralised cooperation.
Ethiopia used to be cursed with more than its fair share of natural and manmade disasters: droughts, famines, ethnic conflicts and an obscurantist absolute monarchy which gave way to a brutal totalitarian dictatorship. But the last three years have seen far-reaching changes for the better. A rural-based liberation movement has taken power and is working to establish democracy, human rights and the rule of law, while devolving power to the country's many ethnic groups and turning the economy round to a free market system. We look at what has been achieved - and at the problems still remaining.
European Union - the way forward
For some years now European integration has ceased to be the foregone conclusion it once was - yet 7 February 1992 saw the signing of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union, and the Treaty is now being put into effect. An acknowledgement, then, of a new and imaginative method of economic and political integration, though one which is so deliberate and fast-moving that it occasionally conflicts with the slower pace at which historical processes mature. Economic growth, too, seems always to have been a vital element in the process of European integration, but present-day difficulties, especially unemployment and marginalisation, are making some people wonder whether that process might not be reversible. Looking beyond our different interests and values, and even if there is as yet no shared vision of what the final outcome will be, European integration after Maastricht has to find a way of combining the logic of the market, an institutional balance, political imperatives and the quest for a new pattern of economic and social development. These are some of the issues we look at in this Dossier on European Union the way forward.