A New Approach to EU-ACP Cooperation - The Shaping, Negotiation and Implications of the Cotonou Agreement

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: On 23 June 2000, the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states signed the Cotonou Agreement, a trade and aid agreement which represents a new approach to EU-ACP cooperation. For instance, it provides for the non-reciprocal trade preferences previously enjoyed by the ACP states to be replaced with regional free trade agreements. The aim of this essay is, firstly, to examine the EU's motives behind introducing the innovations of the Cotonou Agreement, and secondly, to analyse how the EU managed to force them through in the EU-ACP negotiations despite resistance from the ACP states. Thirdly, the potential implications for the ACP states of the new liberal trade regime that the Cotonou Agreement entails will be examined. The EU's motives behind introducing the innovations of the Cotonou Agreement will be analysed from the perspectives of neo-liberal institutionalism and weak cognitivism, while the theoretical perspective used to analyse the EU-ACP negotiations on the Agreement will be power-based regime theory. Finally, by examining the potential impact of the new trade regime on the development of the ACP states, the essay will test liberal theories of economic development.

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