The EU's development policy

Forging relations of dependence?

Authored by: Mark Langan , Sophia Price

The Routledge Handbook of Critical European Studies

Print publication date:  December  2020
Online publication date:  December  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138589919
eBook ISBN: 9780429491306
Adobe ISBN:


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The European Union's development policy has historically focused upon former colonies, especially those within the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group. Indeed, EU discourse – as far back as the Schuman Declaration in 1950 – has emphasised a unique European responsibility for the wellbeing of poorer peoples in (former) colonial territories. Most notably, the founding fathers of the European project regularly spoke of the Eurafrican rationale behind development policy, as embodied in the creation of the European Development Fund (EDF) with the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Namely, that development interventions and aid-giving would secure a necessary political and economic fusion with African countries to the benefit of all concerned. Europe – through its development policy – would maintain close economic links to (former) colonies essential to the supply of raw inputs to European industry. ACP countries, meanwhile, would benefit from aid towards infrastructural improvements (for instance, ports and roads) and from the investment of European consortiums into lucrative sectors including agri-business and mining.

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