Bossuyt, J., Jong, K. de. 1997. Performance criteria in future ACP-EU cooperation. (Policy Management Brief 8). Maastricht: ECDPM.
Revitalising the ACP-EU partnership is a key to the future of the Lomé Convention. From a European perspective, the political message is clear: external support is for “those partners that also help themselves”. Self help means governments “making merit” and earning the assistance and trust they need. It also implies greater selectivity in Community support and a stronger focus on recipient performance. Future EU assistance will be based on “needs” as well as “merits”.
At first sight, the proposal seems highly controversial for ACP governments. They may see it as a further erosion of the Lomé partnership and a sign of more bad things to come – the imposition of new conditionalities, checklists of quantifiable performance criteria and unilateral sanctions.
On second analysis, however, both parties share an interest in defining a new partnership based on performance. It may help to re-legitimise and safeguard EU cooperation budgets. It may help transform the current, largely inefficient system of donor-imposed conditionalities into a locally owned set of accepted objectives and performance. It may also help ACP governments reconcile with their citizens, who are also pressing for improved governance, resource allocation and accountability.
Read Policy Management Brief 8