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Political Economy of International Development

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Political Economy of International Development

Restructuring north‐south relations: ACP‐EU development co‐operation in a liberal international order’, Review of African Political Economy Vol. 27, Iss. 85, 2000

The article examines the nature of the association between the European Union and the Pacific, Carribean and African countries through the lens of the new EU-ACP Partnership Agreement which was agreed and signed in 2000. This new partnership was a replacement to the 1974 Lome Convention that had been existing prior to the 21st century between these countries. Apparently, though the new ACP-EU partnership may be aimed at enhancing the political and economic welfare between the north and the south, there is a need for things that included all the countries involved to be placed on the table, as this would be the starting point for each of the nations involved to enjoy the partnership. It is worth noting that each country in this partnership, regardless of whether developed or developing one, has its own political and/or economic issues which bother it. In addition, being open to one another would make all the parties involved to see the new relations being effective compared to the Lome Convention. Failure to do this, the only difference that would be there, would just be the change of the name of the relationships from Lome Convention to the EU-ACP.
With this regard, it seems it would be sensible for the developing countries in this new relationship to be extra cautious with the terms and conditions of the relationship. Mainly due to the circumstances where the earlier forms of EU-ACP co-operations had been determined to help in economic development among the developing nations, especially by granting favorable treatment to these nations. However, this has not been as smooth to most of the developing nations, particularly due to the fact that the developed nations had been giving the developing nations some political conditionality and structural adjustment in order to lend them funds. As a result, the debt levels among the developing nations has been high. It easy to agree with the author of this article that the new EU-ACP co-operation should be non-political, as this would make the relationship between the north and south countries to appear like a form of decolonization. Though I also support the need for inter-state relations especially after the post war, since it encourages post war reconstruction, the basic elements of the relations should focus on creation of both multifunctional and universal international political and economic organization.
Moreover, I concur with the author`s argument that there was extensive pressure to the Southern nations to adhere to strict liberal norms such as respect to human rights, constitutionalism, and electoral politics. Apparently, the core objective of these liberal norms was to ensure that the south remains inferior and do not become clients or allies to the communist bloc (Brown, 2018, 370). However, though the aspect of embracing a liberal rule was important especially due to the fact it enabled the south to have the right to sovereign statehood, countries failed to consolidate the liberal rule in the south. In the long run, this resulted to the creation of a liberal international order. The resulting outcome was a division of the world into developed and rich north (where liberal principles and multilateral international relations are consolidated), and poor south with weak political, economic and liberal principles. This is one of the core reasons why the sub-Saharan African countries are characterized by a combination of negative social legacies, weak economies and political instability. Subsequently, it was important for the restructuring of the North-South relations especially when it comes to the financial aid that most of the developing countries were and had been donating to the developing nations. The precisely, there was need for donors to ensure that the donations that they make to the developing nations in the south are used accordingly. However, most African countries are characterized with political instabilities especially due to the greed for power, and this limits effective utilization of donations. Additionally, most African leaders are corrupt, and have a history of diverting development priorities for their self-interests rather than the primary purpose. For these reasons, I do support the need for donors to push for democratization, safeguarding of human rights, and well as the presence of a good government before donating funds to the developing countries (Brown, 2018, 374). Consecutively, I strongly support the new political agreement that was made during the new EU-ACP relations which started being implemented at the onset of the 21st century. Precisely, the new relationship aims at extending and enforcing the political elements which had been stipulated in the Lomé Convention, which were not limited to Democratic principles, respect of human rights, as well as the respect of the rule of law. The ACP-EU relations added the aspect of ensuring good governance, especially when it comes to addressing the problems of corruption (Brown, 2018, 376-377). In most ACP countries, one of the major factors that hinder economic development is corruption, which is highly propagated by those holding public offices, rather than being in the forefront of fighting corruption. The most important thing is that the ACP-EU relations agreed on some punitive measures to the countries which would fail to honor the various provisions of the new political agreement, including the aspect of applying sanctions to any country that will be found guilty. in addition, I also support the ACP-EU development co-operation goal, especially the one that entails reducing the number of individuals living in abstract poverty as well as debt relief to the developing nations (Brown, 2018, 378). Actually, there are a number of ACP countries which are heavily affected by harsh environmental conditions, to such an extent that the government cannot manage to provide for their basic needs. It is sad for any individual to starve to death whereas the EU-ACP co-operation is in place.
Subsequently, I support the ACP-EU`s move of redefining the aid process, especially to the developing countries. Initially, though the political and economic conditionality that the Lome Convention had placed to the ACP countries was good, especially in order to ensure that the aid provided is used in the most effective way, achieving the desired results was almost unattainable. However, considering that most ACP countries would seek grants and donations from the developed countries, the ACP-EU countries have come up with one of the most effective method of ensuring that ACP countries use the donations in the best way possible. Precisely, the ACP-EU countries agreed that the basis of aid allocation is by the record of implementation of the state programs that the ACP country has (Brown, 2018, 378). This sensitizes the ACP countries to use every aid that is allocated to it in an appropriate manner so that it can qualify for next allocation.

References
Brown W., (2018). Restructuring North-South Relations: ACP-EU Development Co-operation in a Liberal International Order. Taylor & Francis Ltd.

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