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Analyses eu-ecowas historical relation Essay

1.1 Introduction

EU-ECOWAS dealingss did non commence until 1975 due to the fact that ECOWAS merely came into being on May 28th 1975 with the sign language of Treaty of Lagos by its member provinces ( ECOWAS, 2010 ) . However, prior to ECOWAS ‘ formation in 1975, some of its member provinces, peculiarly the Francophone states such as Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo had been foundation members of Associated African provinces and Madagascar ( EAMA ) . This group of states had been actively involved in the & A ; lsquo ; government of association ‘ as enshrined in the Treaty of Rome ( 1957 ) which arranged a relationship between the former Gallic and Belgian settlements with the EC ( ACP, 2010 ) . The early relationship with these ex-colonies became a cardinal facet of the procedure of European integrating and besides established the footing and principle for subsequent agreements ( Reisen, 2007 ; Holland, 2002 ) .

The Commonwealth states within the ECOWAS grouping such as Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone did non take part in EC cooperation programme until the UK accession to the EC in 1973. With respects to ex-colonies ‘ activities in EC cooperation programme prior to 1973, it had been a instance of domination of development docket by France ( Holland, 2002 ) . So, the inclusion of the ECOWAS Commonwealth states was necessitated because the UK was acute to set its particular trading penchants for bananas and sugar under the EC umbrella and to widen its aid to some former settlements beyond bilateral support ( European Commission, 2010a ) .

Since ECOWAS ‘ constitution in 1975, EU-ECOWAS dealingss have been framed by the trade policy apprehensions every bit good as other development cooperation agreements as contained in the partnership understandings that the EU has entered into with developing states in Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific ( ACPs ) states ( World Bank, 2007 ; Oyejide and Njinken, 2002 ) . The ACPs presently comprises 79 states ( 48 African, 16 Caribbean and 15 Pacific ) . The EU ‘s dealingss with the ACPs are today governed by the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou, Benin in June 2000 which came into force in 2003 ( ACP-EEC, 2005 ) . However, it has since been revised and the revised Agreement entered into force in July 2008. In a sense, both ECOWAS and ACPs are closely linked but the paper focuses on EU-ECOWAS dealingss with a position to unknoting its specificity in historical positions.

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ECOWAS is a regional group of 15 West African states, founded on May 28, 1975, with the sign language of the Treaty of Lagos. ECOWAS is one of the pillars of the African Economic Community and its mission is to advance economic cooperation and integrating. The overall aim of ECOWAS is to advance co-operation and integrating in order to make an economic and pecuniary brotherhood for promoting economic growing and development in West Africa ( ECOWAS, 2010a ) . The grouping contains a really broad diverseness of economic systems in footings of size, development and resources ( EBID, 2005 ) .

There were 16 states in the group until really late when Mauritania voluntarily withdrew its rank from ECOWAS. The states include the 7 UEMOA states of Benin, Burkina-Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, and Senegal. Other non-UEMOA member states are Cape-Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The UEMOA is the Gallic acronym of West African Economic and Monetary Union. It is an organisation of eight provinces of West Africa established in 1994 to advance economic integrating among states that portion a common currency, the CFA franc.

In footings of accomplishments, UEMOA member states are working toward greater regional integrating with incorporate external duties than ECOWAS. It is both a imposts and pecuniary brotherhood and has initiated regional structural and sectoral policies which ECOWAS is following. Within ECOWAS besides, there is a West African Monetary Zone ( WAMZ ) which comprises a group of five states ( chiefly English speech production ) that plan to present a common currency, the Eco by the twelvemonth 2015. The WAMZ was formed in 2000 to seek and set up a strong stable currency to equal the CFA franc. Though, the coveted end is for the CFA franc and Eco to unify, with a position to giving all of West Africa states a individual stable currency ( ECOWAS, 2010b ) .


ECOWAS portions a resemblance with the EU in its aim and manners of cooperation for regional integrating among member provinces. Though, their history of constitution differs. Unlike the ECOWAS theoretical account, in which all states came together at one time ( except Cape Verde which joined in 1976 ) to organize an economic agreement, merely six states initiated the current EU agreement, while other European states joined at different points through its expansion and accession scheme ( Alaba, 2006 ) . It has frequently been argued that integrating in the West African sub-region has mostly been informed by the integrating processes in Western Europe, chiefly because of EU ‘s & A ; lsquo ; committedness ‘ to regional integrating ( Smith, 2008 ; Ogbeidi, 2010 ) .

A point of going between the two groupings nevertheless, lies in their public presentations over the old ages. While their public presentations could be a contemplation of the degree of development of the member states that constitutes the rank of the sub-regional brotherhoods, the most of import individual factor is their degree of committedness towards accomplishing their ends. Unlike the EU agreement, committedness to assorted protocol meant to ease the accomplishment of the vision of ECOWAS has been really low and execution marks have ne’er been met. For illustration trade liberalization within the ECOWAS part has been by and large low and uneffective ( UNCTAD, 2009 ) . The same conformity failure applies to an ECOWAS protocol on free motions of individuals, the right of abode and constitution which was agreed every bit far as back 1979 ( World Bank, 2007 ) .


For virtually all ECOWAS states, the EU is the chief trading spouse ( Eurostat, 2008 ) . This high dependance of the states on the EU market is mostly due to their historical links and the nature of their trade forms which has frequently made them merchandise dependant ( Fontagne, 2008 ; Greenidge, 1998 ) . The economic construction of the West African sub-region is mostly dominated by agribusiness which is closely followed by mining. Agriculture contributed approximately 25.17 % , to sub-regional GDP as at 2006, up from 24.19 % in 1995, while excavation accounted for 22.13 % somewhat higher than 21.45 in 1995. Trade contributed approximately 14.64 % of the Group ‘s GDP, down from 15.39 % in 1995 ( Ecostat, 2010 ) . Most of the ECOWAS states tend to be extremely specialised in a few cardinal merchandises such as crude oil and a few unrefined agricultural trade goods such as java and cotton.

ECOWAS is the largest trading spouse of all the EU ‘s sub regional groupings/cooperation. It accounts for approximately 40 % of entire trade with the EU by parts ( Eurostat, 2008 ) . Out of the 15 ECOWAS states, 13 of these states are ranked as Least Developed Countries ( LDCs ) while three are non-LDC ( HDR, 2009 ) . The non-LDC states in the part are Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. These 3 non-LDC states and Senegal to some extent history for the majority of trade dealingss with the EU. In 2008 EU ‘s rankings of African states in footings of value of goods traded, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire ranked the 4th and 10th for all EU imports while Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana were ranked 5th, 9th and 10th severally for all EU ‘s exports ( Eurostat, 2009 ) . West Africa ‘s chief exports are oil from Nigeria ( 50 % of West African exports ) and agricultural tropical merchandises ( chocolate, bananas, Ananas comosuss, wood ) largely from C & A ; ocirc ; te d’Ivoire and Ghana ( European Commission, 2009 ) while Senegal is noted for Indian potato ( Bergtold et al, 2005 ) . For about all the states the taking import points are heavy equipments, chemical and chemical merchandises and fabrics, gum elastic and metal merchandises.


As mentioned earlier, EU-ECOWAS dealingss are governed by the understandings between EU and ACP group of States. In order to accomplish their aims, the dealingss between the two organic structures have historically been framed by a series of conventions. For EU-ECOWAS dealingss, the most operative conventions are Lom & A ; eacute ; Conventions ( 1975-2000 ) and Cotonou Agreement ( 2000-2020 ) .

The Lom & A ; eacute ; Conventions ( 1975-2000 ) consist of four governments of conventions from Lom & A ; eacute ; I which was foremost signed in February 1975 in Lom & A ; eacute ; , Togo to Lom & A ; eacute ; IV which ended in 2000. The Lom & A ; eacute ; Conventions are a trade and assistance understanding between the European Community ( EC ) and the ACP group of provinces. The first Lom & A ; eacute ; Convention was designed to supply a new model of cooperation between the so European Community ( EC ) and developing ACP states. The Lome Conventions ‘ most of import property is its non-reciprocity, which allows ACP exports responsibility free entree to the European market while enabling the ACP provinces to keep tariff barriers against European goods. It introduced the STABEX and SYSMIN system which were designed to counterbalance ACP states for the deficit in agricultural export net incomes and excavation industry activities severally due to fluctuation in the monetary values or supply of trade goods ( ACP-EEC, 1995 ; 1975 ) .

The Lom & A ; eacute ; Convention was a committedness to an equal partnership between Europe and ACPs ( Holland, 2002 ) . A critical reappraisal of the trade agreement/convention nevertheless, shows a prolongation of unequal power dealingss between both parties. For illustration, the reciprocality clause has ever been geared towards run intoing export involvements of European houses ( Orbie, 2008 ) and the dialogue for the Lom & A ; eacute ; convention itself was a contemplation of Third World trade good power, which the EU was acute to continue through its privileged entree to these trade goods via its ex-colonial links ( Gibb, 2000 ) .

However, Lom & A ; eacute ; conventions have been considered as the trademark of the EU ‘s policy with the Third universe and the most institutionalized of all EU ‘s group-to-group duologues. It marked a typical patterned advance from a government of association to what could be called a forum of partnership and cooperation ( Hurt, 2003 ; Holland, 2002 ) . It has besides been argued by Crawford ( 2007 ) that Lom & A ; eacute ; Convention is the most important understanding for Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Cotonou Agreement ( 2000-2020 ) is the most recent understanding in the history of ACP-EU Development Cooperation. It is based on four chief rules: partnership, engagement, duologue and common duties, and distinction every bit good as regionalization ( ACP-EEC, 2000 ) . One of the extremist alterations and cardinal elements of the Cotonou Agreement concerns merchandise cooperation between EU-ACP provinces. This is non surprising given the fact that EU has sole trade competences and trade policy instrument has been a cardinal scheme of its external policy ( Lightfoot, 2010 ; Orbie, 2008 ; Bretherton and Vogler, 1999 ) . The most dramatic characteristic of the new trade cooperation is the fact that the non-reciprocal trade penchants have been replaced with a new strategy of Economic Partnership Agreements ( EPAs ) . The EPAs are schemes aimed at making a Free Trade Area ( FTA ) between the EU and ACP states ( ACP-EEC, 2000 ) .

The EPAs are a response to go oning unfavorable judgment that the non-reciprocal and know aparting discriminatory trade understandings offered by the EU are incompatible with WTO regulations. Apart from the issue of WTO compatibility, it was besides argued that generous trade penchants were non plenty for economic return off ( European Commission, 1995 ) . It was hence seen as holding achieved limited success in footings of advancing accelerated development in ACP states. So, what does the EPA signify for EU-ECOWAS dealingss?

The dialogues on an EPA between ECOWAS and the EU were launched in Brussels in 2002 ( ECA, 2007 ) . However, the dialogues have so far been inconclusive due to some concerns that the EPAs will take to big trade instabilities in West African economic systems, every bit good as permutation of local and regional production by European imports ( Perez and Karingi, 2007 ) . The diminution in import responsibilities due to the discriminatory duty riddance has besides been a major concern for West African states ( Busse and Grobmann, 2004 ) . In peculiar, the reciprocality status implicit in the understanding, implied that at some clip before 2020, the ECOWAS states must hold to open up their economic systems to imports from the EU states. This may constantly take to merchandise recreation, trade creative activity, loss of trade grosss and deindustrialisation ( World Bank, 2007 ; Adenikinju and Alaba, 2005 ) .

In a survey on the impacts of the EU-ECOWAS EPAs, Lang ( 2006 ) found that Ghana and particularly Guinea-Bissau could lose up to 20 % of their Government budget grosss in instance of a full liberalization of EU imports. Although duty gross falls were considered highest in Nigeria in absolute dollar footings, those two states will be the most affected. In a similar survey on the impacts of the EU-ACP EPAs in six ACP parts, Fontagne et Al ( 2008:6-7 ) , ACP exports to the EU are forecast to be 10 per centum higher with the EPAs than under the GSP/EBA option. On mean ACP states are forecast to lose 70 per centum of duty grosss on EU imports in the long tally. The most affected part is ECOWAS. The deduction of a loss of tariff income would interpret into public budget restraints and could therefore pose great developmental challenges for ECOWAS states.

However, both Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana agreed and endorsed interim EPAs with the EU in December 2007 ( European Commission, 2009 ) . These understandings were chiefly put in topographic point because full regional EPAs could non be agreed upon. Of these three largest merchandising spouses with the EU, Nigeria opted out of an interim EPA. For now, the state can merely profit from the regular EU Generalised System of Preferences ( GSP ) . This is far less advantageous than the nonreciprocal Lom & A ; eacute ; penchants because the GSP covers fewer merchandises and has stricter regulations of beginning ( Hurt, 2003 ) . Though the Nigerian Government has twice applied to be placed on the GSP+ position, the EU has rejected the applications strictly for political grounds ( Nwoke, 2009 ) .

The remainder of the West African part is mostly made up of Least Developed Countries ( European Commission, 2009 ) . They have an option non to negociate since they have duty free entree to the EU under the & A ; lsquo ; Everything But Arms ‘ ( EBA ) strategy ( Orbie, 2008 ; Bilal, 2007 ) . The EBA is the distinction constituent of Cotonuo Agreement made in the intervention of least developed states ( LDCs ) and non-LDCs. For these 13 states, the EPA may non transport extra benefits over the EBA except for the proficient and fiscal support that the former may transport ( Adenikinju and Alaba, 2005 ) . So, their degree of committedness to subscribing full EPA is fringy. It needs indicating out that the little additions which might ensue from the EBA enterprise are expected to melt away as a effect of the EU dialogues on EPAs ( Kohnert, 2008 ) . Besides, the combative nature of EBA strategy due to its one-sided debut makes it less attractive ( Bilal, 2002 ) . As Flint ( 2008:60 ) argues “ the EU has highlighted farther jobs confronting policymakers ” by the split into separate axis of LDC and non-LDC. This is really exemplifying of EU-ECOWAS dealingss.

From the foregoing, it is discernable that in consequence, the EPA will play a important function in ending the ECOWAS group as the chief development spouse of the EU. Prior to the EPA dialogues, ECOWAS states have non had great success at significantly enlarging trade amongst member provinces. Intraregional trade as a proportion of entire trade remains much lower in African regional integrating ( UNCTAD, 2009 ) . And, with the new EPAs scheme that seeks for one-sided dialogue in pattern, trade betterment amongst member provinces is farther undermined ( Borrmann et al, 2005 ) . Concisely, the EPA is damaging to the cause of regional integrating. For EU-ECOWAS, the two rules of reciprocality and deeper regional integrating are likely to draw in different waies ( Lang, 2006 ) .



The Aid for Trade enterprise emerged within the Doha Round out of the demand to assist all states to profit from trade i.e. to maximize the additions from trade. Yet, demand for, and capacity to absorb, “ assistance for trade ” still exceeds available resources ( World Bank, 2005 ) . The EU Aid for Trade scheme adopted in October 2007 confirms the European committedness to supply EUR2 billion per twelvemonth in Trade Related Assistance by 2010 and to increase disbursement for the wider Aid for Trade docket ( ECDPM, 2009 ) . A reappraisal of Aid for Trade nevertheless shows that givers have achieved their pledges merely by using the modified WTO-OECD monitoring regulations, without originating any new undertakings ( Br & A ; uuml ; ntrup and Voionmaa, 2010 ) . So, for ECOWAS states whose capacity edifice and supply-side restraints have been a major factor in the deficiency of fight and the comparatively hapless trade and growing public presentation ( AU, 2006 ) , Aid for Trade can merely be meaningful if it is translated into echt fresh assistance for use.

Besides, the issue of democracy publicity in EU-ECOWAS dealingss is more of rhetoric than achievement. Crawford ( 2005 ) statement that the EU ‘s involvements in Africa focal point less on democracy publicity and more on the perceived loads and security menaces to Europe originating from political instability and struggle seems more informative and affair of fact.

1.7 Decision

The EPA dialogues to set up a Free Trade Zone between EU and ECOWAS in line with Cotonuo understanding for a period of 12 old ages have important deductions on the economic systems of ECOWAS states. Give the construction and trade forms of ECOWAS states in which manufactures history for approximately 75 % of the EU ‘s export to ECOWAS, full liberalization of their economic systems will ensue in loss of gross, deindustrialisation and will do the states to be more vulnerable in the planetary economic system.

It is less to be seen if the IEPAs/EPAs dialogues would breed trade that will ensue in development and poorness decrease for the West Africa sub part. The trade cooperation upon which EPAs is founded symbolises regional integrating in rules but its scheme of interim EPAs among single states of the part and EBA for least developed states encourages unilateralism in pattern.


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