Coherence and effectiveness: Challenges for ACP-EU relations in 2008
This InBrief seeks to identify some of the headline debates that can be expected in 2008 and to sketch the backdrop against which these will unfold. The aim is not so much to predict outcomes, but to situate and frame the EU debates on development cooperation so as to enable as wide a group of stakeholders as possible to follow and participate in them.
For EU-watchers concerned with development and Africa, 2007 was dominated by two major debates which ultimately came together at the end of the year in the Africa-EU Summit in Lisbon. The objective of the event was nominally to reach final agreement on the new Joint Africa-EU Strategy that had gone through various steps of drafting and negotiation in the course of the year. But it was the other debate on trade that actually produced the Summit’s most striking moments and strongest language. In so doing it perhaps also inadvertently signalled the start of the new era in Afro-Euro relations, as the Summit organisers had hoped, a new era marked by more forthright exchanges of views between leaders.