EU–Afghanistan relations

Authored by: Oz Hassan

Routledge Handbook of EU–Middle East Relations

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367330767
eBook ISBN: 9780429317873
Adobe ISBN:


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The chapter starts by giving a historical overview of EU–Afghanistan relations in order to challenge the assertion that the EU’s relationship with Afghanistan simply emerged after 11 September 2001. It shows how a European level relationship developed in the 1950s through trade and aid. It continues by showing how this relationship evolved as the European Community became more focused on the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people in the 1980s and 1990s, precipitated by Cold War politics and the rise of the Taliban. After providing this broader historical context, the chapter moves on to show how the EU–Afghan relationship evolved once again following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. Asserting that the EU sought to reinforce the Bonn Process, which was aimed at rebuilding Afghanistan following the US invasion, it is argued that the EU focused its policy on reconstruction and democratisation. This foregrounds the basis upon which the key contribution of this chapter is being made. It shows how the EU’s current relationship with Afghanistan has been textured by its past, and shaped by the interventions of great powers.

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