|EU-ACP Negotiations on Post Lomé IV Convention - The Stand of Uganda Civil Society (DENIVA, 1999, 55 p.)|
The EU proposals for the post Lomé IV Convention arrangements are found in their proactive document, the Green Paper. It outlines a number of different ways forward and equally suggests new aspects. To the EU, suggestions in the document are about an effective EU co-operation policy towards ACP countries with a feedback system to the Union.
The ACP-EU partnership has witnessed a number of unprecedented changes since 1975 as illustrated by economic globalisation and interdependence, the end of the cold war, faster spread of technological innovation, uneven demographic trend and the emergence of a multipolar world. On the other hand, the growth of trade, the unification of capital markets and the globalisation of production and distribution networks represent both opportunities and new risks for Europe and the ACP states, forcing the implementation of radical reforms though the ACP countries are only marginal players in global trade (2%) and with international investment flows (less than 1%).
· The EU's external policies cover commerce, development co-operation, environment, agriculture and fisheries, science and research, information and the harmonisation of standards.
· Important changes in the concepts of aid and its role in development are being proposed or emphasised to include enhanced political dimension, stronger ties between relief, rehabilitation and development aid, the formulation of new approaches concerning the role of aid and a change in priorities.
Any changes or proposals by the EU should of necessity be of interest and concern to ACP countries given the EU stature as a force for stability, a model of co-operation and regional integration, a leading trading power and the largest single source of official development assistance to ACP.
The history of the Lomé Convention can be traced to the desire of EU states to develop a global aid policy and to bring about a radical shift in Community aid policy. The growth curve could be described as:
Phase 1 was about:
· Control of sources of raw material
· need to hold on to valued overseas markets
· geostrategic interests
· a residual sense of responsibility for the colonial past.
Phase 2 - Overtime key principles to EU aid policy became
· collective negotiations (between the two groups of countries and covering several aspects of co-operation)
· the dialogue with individual ACP countries made possible by the joint institutions
· the contractual and predictable nature of the funding.
Phase 3 - Present edemands/realities
· the redesigning of the Union's aid policy given the changed economic and political conditions governing development
· Europe's motives are no longer the same.
· The colonial and the post colonial age is over
· A more open international political climate.
The Failures and Weaknesses
It is in this context that the above examination of past cooperation can offer constructive guidance for future policy. According to the EU evaluation, the past failures and weaknesses include:
· The lack of pertinence and inefficiency, a product of disagreement over political priorities.
· Lack of consistent sectoral policies amongst the ACP countries
· The EUs heavy reliance on technical assistance consultants to determine the implementation of its aid operations.
· Different criteria governing instruments (inconsistency)
· Decreased project aid in overall funding
The document also lists factors responsible for sub-Saharan Africa's poor per capita growth performance (minus South Africa). These factors include low investment especially in education and trade, political and economic instability, rapid population growth and failure to improve industrial/ agricultural productivity - which in turn is partly explained by economic policy failures.
Relations as the 21st century approaches
The EU Agenda during the ongoing negotiations:-
· Promotion of peace, solidarity, economic development, mutual interest and management of global threats.
· A mutual commitment to political dialogue and its linkage to co-operation components.
· Expanding the co-operation framework thus ACP states too opening their markets to trade with the EU and other partners.
· The EU support to the ACP states to achieve the political, economic and social conditions for sustainable development.
· ACP states promoting the development and diversification of economic and trade relations for increased employment opportunities.
· The EU/ACP co-operation policy being restructured around the social and economic dimension, the institutional dimension, the public sector and trade and investment.
Proposals for effective aid use
· Support to public enterprise restructuring and privatisation programmes
· Stepped up support for regional integration
· Stepping up trade development measures
· The development of scientific and technical expertise for sustainable development
· Support ACP developments in the information field
· monetary co-operation
· Support initiatives to ease the foreign debt burden.