Posthumus, B. 1998. Beyond Lomé IV: Preliminary views of European governments on future EU-ACP relations. (Working Paper 53). Maastricht: ECDPM.
The current Fourth Lomé Convention will expire on February 29, in the year 2000. While it is most likely to be followed by a new Lomé Convention, the shape that EU-ACP cooperation will assume in the next century is the subject of much debate among different actors in both the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
In November 1996, the European Commission presented a Green Paper on the relations between the EU and the ACP countries. Its main purpose was to promote an open and constructive debate on how to adjust the Convention to the new global situation and the development challenges facing the ACP at the eve of the new millennium.
This paper is a review of the highlights from the initial responses the Green Paper has received from twelve European Member States. They are France, Germany, the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Portugal. All the papers indicate that the positions expressed are preliminary.
The paper is structured as follows. The introduction makes it clear that the various European governments are keen to preserve solid relations with the ACP, while recognising the need for major reforms on a range of issues. Then the perceptions of Member States are analysed with regard to the objectives and fundamentals of ACP-EU cooperation, the proposals concerning political dialogue and partnership, the trade and aid provisions, views on the geographical composition of the ACP and the sensitive question of “regionalisation”. The final sections focus on management questions as well as some special concerns put forward by Member States in the run-up to the pre-negotiating process.
The paper will refrain from drawing any conclusions, since the twelve responses received so far are, as the title suggests, preliminary.
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