EU Development Cooperation after the Lisbon Treaty: People, Institutions and Global Trends


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    The world is changing rapidly. The balance of economic power is shifting and the continuing trend of globalization increases interdependence, with global challenges, such as climate change, the economic crisis, conflict and terrorism, increasingly requiring joint action. In this changing context, the EU is struggling to remain a key player on the international scene. With the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force in December 2009, the EU aspired to reshape its external action. The aim is for the Lisbon Treaty to lead to a more coherent, efficient and visible EU in the world. The Lisbon Treaty has considerable consequences for the conduct of EU external policy and therefore affects the EU’s relations with developing countries. Almost two years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, this paper examines the current state of play as regards the implications for EU development cooperation. Its purpose is to assess if small steps are made towards a stronger EU contribution to international development and poverty eradication. The analysis is guided by a select number of criteria: the letter of the Lisbon Treaty, leadership in EU institutions, organisational measures taken, specific activities undertaken and expected impact.

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