Libmonster ID: U.S.-1329
Author(s) of the publication: I. L. LILEYEV


Candidate of Political Sciences

Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences

Keywords: European Union, international political relations, aid to Africa,


The European Union's relations with Africa have acquired new features and a new quality in recent years.

First, they have become more concrete and realistic. In the years since the adoption of the ambitious New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) by the 36th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Algiers in 2000, many African countries, with the help of European partners, have managed to achieve substantial growth in gross domestic product (GDP) and overall economic performance. the pace of development. Although the standard of living of the population in most countries of the continent is still extremely low. This fact is a reflection of the well-known postulate that the volume of GDP and the income of citizens in any (not necessarily African) country are in principle not related to each other.

Secondly, the united Europe is now much more insistent than before, trying to prove its loyalty to a number of principles of its foreign policy practice, which it declares. And aid to the third world was and remains one of these principles, and, therefore, is an important factor in strengthening European unity.

Since the current economic success of a number of African countries has hardly affected the standard of living of their citizens, especially the poorest part of them, these States will not be able to do without external assistance for a long time. And the EU has been and remains the largest source of such aid. EU member States account for 56% of all global official development assistance (ODA) to Africa. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2011 The EU has provided $ 25.3 billion in development assistance to Africa. euro 1.


With regard to the distribution of European ODA among African States, significant changes are also taking place. The "political component", which for many years played a crucial role in determining the" addresses " of such assistance, is now relegated to the background. Europe has moved to a more realistic assessment of the economic viability of its African partners.

The amount and nature of aid provided is now more closely linked to the scope and nature of domestic political and economic reforms being implemented in African States. Moreover, the main attention is paid to those reforms that are being implemented today, now, and not planned for the distant future, and are aimed at overcoming poverty.

How democratic transformations are being implemented in a particular country, and how active the public's opposition to dictatorial regimes is, the European Union must take into account when deciding on the allocation of aid. Those African states that reject the principles of multipartyism accepted throughout the civilized world, where human rights are not respected and international law norms are ignored, need to look for means for their economic development outside the community of European countries - this is the rule that the EU has recently adhered to. The Governments of most African States understood this and went ahead with such reforms (or their African counterparts), not wanting to aggravate relations with donor countries.

At the same time, defending sometimes different foreign policy ideologies, as a rule, does not interfere with the implementation of mutually beneficial European-African commercial and investment projects. In this regard, the theme of the fourth EU-Africa Summit held in Brussels in April 2014 - "Investing in people, prosperity and peace" - is not accidental. Almost the entire volume of investments announced at the summit is $ 31.6 billion. It was decided to use the euro to implement a number of long-term programs that are more or less aimed at developing the economies of African states. But most recently, from the rostrum of the third EU-Africa summit, held in Tripoli in November 2010, the "leader of all African leaders" M. Gaddafi frightened Africans with the prospects for developing relations with Europe, which inspired him with fear.

Assistance from European countries

page 7

to the states of Africa, it has long been in the form of donations "for poverty". Funds were transferred to bank accounts identified by the official African authorities, and it was not customary to ask how they were spent. Questions of this kind were interpreted as "interference in the internal affairs of African countries." As a result, in many cases, financial assistance was delivered in the hands of the wrong people.2

Many African public figures have long raised the question of making such assistance more targeted and targeted to the needs of the poorest segments of the population. In their opinion, it is necessary to change the mechanism of distribution of European aid. Change it so that its ultimate goal is "... not the maximum enrichment of the minority, but social justice for all " .3


For many years, a number of African leaders have used European money almost exclusively for their own enrichment. They blatantly ignored the opinion of the local public, as well as ordinary Africans who advocate the implementation of the principles of so-called "good governance"in their countries. First of all, public administration, the main features of which should be the responsibility of leaders to the citizens of their countries and transparency in the work of the official apparatus.

Achieving this goal is not easy. Over the decades, the national and tribal elites of African countries have formed such an extensive and multidimensional system of governance that it has effectively legitimized the appropriation of aid from European States by local leaders and representatives of the ruling elite. L. V. Geveling, a well-known Russian Africanist and political scientist, argues that it is a question of forming a system of "quasi-negative economy, where embezzlement of aid is one of the aspects of various odious forms of economic activity."4

In fact, the economic development of most African countries is impossible without the participation of local "corruption triads" operating according to the scheme: a foreign commercial partner is a local intermediary-an official who directly makes the decision.

Many economic projects due to this scheme generally lose all commercial attractiveness due to their exorbitant "bribe intensity". In other words, the funds embezzled by the African participants in the transaction often exceed the expected profit from the implementation of a particular project.

In some cases, we are not talking about "triads", but about" dyads " - situations where a foreign partner pays a bribe directly to an African official without the participation of intermediaries. Local entrepreneurs, as a rule, have a negative attitude to such situations and even resent "state interference in the sphere of private business." And foreigners are often accused of "secret plots".

Such cases, of course, are not only an African phenomenon, they are also characteristic of other latitudes. But this cannot be attributed to the "legacy of colonialism" either. As the German Africanist Volker Seitz rightly pointed out, " ... none of the Europeans taught African leaders to pass on power by inheritance and create corrupt clans. They learned this on their own. " 5

As a rule, corrupt heads of state mention the needs of the poor in their own countries only at international forums, turning to Europeans and Americans with requests for new financial assistance. At the same time, such requests are justified precisely by the presence of poor segments of the population in these countries. This is followed by sworn promises to direct donor assistance specifically to reduce or eliminate poverty. It is clear that the needs of the poor and hungry are immediately forgotten as soon as they manage to beg for another "donation". Any dialogue or public discussion about how best to spend the allocated funds is usually not discussed at all.

If humanitarian aid reaches the "grassroots", it is only in the form of one-time handouts, which differ little from alms to beggars. The bulk of it is distributed among the "powers that be" according to long-established and well-developed schemes. Something is distributed through other channels-in fact, it is plundered by local officials.

A natural question is: what about commitments to allocate funds to the poor - after all, such commitments are often made by African states to donor countries? There are also some excuses for this. They say that obligations are fixed on paper - in the form of contracts, and life, specific circumstances force them to adjust. The disappearance of the allocated funds is often blamed on the corrupt state apparatus, against which it has not yet been possible to find justice. Finally, the methods of so-called "double bookkeeping" are widely used, when it is generally impossible to check how monetary resources are spent. However, even Europeans are often not very interested in how the "humanitarian aid"they send there is spent in African countries.6


Relations between the two continents are not limited to providing assistance. Many people have already forgotten about this, but there was a period when European and African states raised the question of bringing the standard of living in African states to the European level in a relatively short time - in the historical context - by joint efforts. However, it was exclusively about the so-called "coastal African states".-

page 8

gifts". This goal was formulated back in 1957 at the Rome meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the Mediterranean basin. The long-term goal of establishing closer relations between the States of the region was also set there. This process continues to be closely intertwined with the broader process of African-European political and economic cooperation.

In 1975, a number of Western European states signed the so-called Lomé Agreements* with some Third world countries (including African ones), according to which agricultural products from these countries are "subsidized from the European pocket".

Finally, in April 2000, the First Summit of Heads of State and Government of several countries - the EU-Africa-was held in Cairo, after which relations between the two continents became even closer. The Cairo Declaration signed at the same time provided for the granting of soft loans and unilateral trade preferences to African countries by Europeans, as well as the transfer of new technologies to them. A course was set for " ... gradual elimination of trade barriers between the two regions." It was also supposed to "develop a program to encourage foreign direct investment" 7.

A significant milestone in relations between the European Union and Africa was the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement on Trade and Democracy in Lisbon in 2007. In this document, the parties pledged to " ... move away from traditional relations and ensure true cooperation, which is characterized by equality and the pursuit of common goals."

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said this back in 2004: "Countries whose leaders pursue policies motivated by the interests of their own people can also count on our special treatment. We need successful examples of the implementation of our declared policies and will respect and support these countries. " 8

By the way, debt relief to the poorest countries has long been perceived on the African continent as a kind of norm. Many countries are no longer particularly eager to leave the list of the poorest countries, because in this case there is a risk that debts will not be forgiven. They are used to the fact that financial assistance, and even without obligations to use it efficiently, can be obtained without making any efforts to get out of the list of "poor states".

The problem of closer integration of the states of Europe and the Mediterranean basin in order to accelerate economic development and improve the quality of services has not lost its relevance. This was discussed at the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Europe and the African countries of the Mediterranean basin held in Barcelona in November 1995. This meeting gave rise to the so-called "Barcelona Process"**, which MEPs describe as a kind of axis around which the EU's foreign policy in the Mediterranean unfolds.

Such meetings have been held before. Even during the years when the Middle East peace process was undergoing difficult tests, representatives of all 27 participating countries gathered at the "Mediterranean Forums". A particularly significant role in strengthening the "Mediterranean unity" was played by the meeting of Foreign Ministers held in Lisbon on May 25-26, 2000 in a free exchange of views -"without an agenda". The agreements reached there on promising issues of European-Mediterranean cooperation were consolidated by the signing of a number of agreements in November of the same year at the conference in Marseille, which was called "Barcelona-4".

The European Union's current approaches to relations with the Mediterranean basin states are based on mutually beneficial trade and economic contacts. Already in the first decade of the twenty-first century, European countries ' imports to the African countries of the southern Mediterranean exceeded, on average, $ 30 billion. euros per year. African countries ' exports to Europe are also growing.

Perhaps Algeria and Tunisia have developed particularly close relations with Europe in recent decades. As you know, Algeria "de facto" even before independence was like the" southern part " of continental France. Now this is being mentioned more and more often in Algeria. Some Algerians "vote" for the European choice with a one-way plane ticket, moving to France for permanent residence. Many people, even without leaving the country, strive for a closer union with Europe to the best of their abilities and capabilities.

Algeria signed an association agreement with the EU back in 2002. In the course of its implementation, it was supposed to eliminate customs barriers and create a free trade zone between Algeria and the EU countries. The agreement also provided for strengthening relations between the EU and Algeria "on the basis of reciprocity and partnership", while its most important element was called "respect for human rights and democratic principles". However, Algeria itself (as well as Tunisia) in recent years, the main efforts are focused on another, more far-reaching goal - full integration into the European Union.


But some of the EU members are in no particular hurry to resolve such issues. It remains to be seen how such integration would affect economic growth-

* The Lomei Agreements are concluded in gor. Lome (the capital of Togo) is located between the EU countries and most of the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. They provide for the liberalization of trade, the exchange of investments and technologies (approx. ed.).

** The Barcelona Process (or Euro-Mediterranean Process) is a process of inter-State cooperation initiated within the framework of the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Founding Conference of Foreign Ministers of a number of countries in Barcelona (Spain) on November 27-28, 1995 (editor's note).

page 9

In 2010, some of them, especially Greece, Spain and Portugal, had to reap the benefits of the end of the global financial and economic crisis. And in 2014, a number of additional serious problems for European countries were caused by the" war of sanctions " between Europe and Russia.

Apparently sensing a lack of "counter-momentum" from Europe about its European ambitions, Algeria did not support the NATO plan to use the country's territory to create a network of military bases here.

Another country in the Arab Maghreb, Morocco, also has its own agreements with the European Union. The Association Agreement with the EU was signed back in 1996, and in 2000 it was signed in 2000. it has entered into force. Then, in October 2008, the EU and Morocco signed an enhanced partnership agreement, which was seen in Rabat as a powerful breakthrough in relations with the European Union.

In November 2009, the European Union and Morocco signed agreements in Rabat aimed at financing programs to adapt Moroccan legislation to EU standards. The European Union has allocated $28 million for this purpose. In March 2010, the EU-Morocco summit was held in Grenada (Spain), the first high - level meeting between the EU and a North African country.

Cape Verde also has its own plans for integration into the European Union. Some geographical distance from Europe does not bother the islanders - after all, in the north, the Canary Islands are not far away, and therefore Spain, the territory of the EU. On the same shaky foundation, the plan for integrating the Cape Verde Islands into Europe is being built.


It is obvious that African countries are interested in cooperation with the European Union in three interdependent areas. These are, first of all, peacemaking, prevention of regional interstate and interethnic conflicts, the number of which Africa, of course, is leading in the world. Secondly, in obtaining various types of assistance for the needs of the national economy, as well as in many cases humanitarian assistance. Third, in helping to combat the massive epidemics that occur here from time to time. The European Union is interested in somehow limiting the uncontrolled growth of "economic migrants" to Europe, who pin all their hopes for a well-fed and prosperous future on it.

The problem of piracy stands apart. The European Union also takes an active part in the fight against this evil that has come down from the depths of time. Cooperation is multidimensional. In addressing these and other similar issues, the EU cooperates with both the African Union and regional African organizations - the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), etc. 9

As part of its participation in the African Peace Initiative, the EU operates on an ongoing basis in the following projects::

1. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) - the EU has allocated over 440 million euros for this purpose by 2014, mainly for current expenditures, as well as for transport, medical equipment and military equipment.

2. The African Union-led International Mission in Mali (AFISMA) is a joint EU - ECOWAS mission. 50 million rubles allocated to it in 2013. The euro went mainly to support the ECOWAS armed forces, which have been in existence for more than 15 years.

3. Peace Consolidation Mission in the Central African Republic (MICOPAC). It is also organized by a regional organization , the Economic Community of Central African Countries (ECAC). But the main sponsor here remains the European Union.

For many years, the European Union, together with the African Union, has been engaged in long-term negotiations and organizational work on the establishment of a crisis prevention mechanism in Africa. Today, this mechanism is functioning quite successfully. It was thanks to him that it was possible to prevent the escalation of conflicts in Ivory Coast and Sudan. In these countries, more than 20 million euros were spent on organizing negotiations between the warring parties.

The situation with the settlement in Somalia is noticeably more complicated. Despite the best efforts of the African Union and the support of the EU, the anti-government movement Al-Shabaab controls most of the country's territory and rejects peacekeeping initiatives.

The European Union assesses the complexity of the problems of resolving regional tribal strife in Africa. The fate of refugees and persons displaced during conflicts on the Black Continent is no less complex. Restoring peaceful life in war-affected regions is a long, costly process that is almost impossible to achieve without external support. In other words, the field for European participation in African affairs is almost endless. And both Africa and Europe need to strengthen their work in this field as much as possible.

1 Cit. by: Kulkova O. S. Africa and the EU: on the eve of the 4th Joint Summit /inner / id

Zeitz Volker. 2 Afrika - Afrika wird arm regiert oder wie man Afrika helfen kann. Koln, 2012. S. 82.

3 Ibid. S. 83.

4 For more details, see: Geveling L. V. Kleptocracy, Moscow, 2011, pp. 257-260 (Geveling L. V. 2011. Kleptokratiya. М.) (in Russian)

Zeitz Volker. 5 Op. cit. S. 48.

6 Nezavisimaya gazeta. 29.04.2000.

7 Ibid.

8 Afrika. Bonn, 2004, N 4. S. 6.

Zhurkin V. V. 9 European Union: Foreign policy, Security, Defense, Moscow, RAS, Institute of Europe, 1998. p. 8. (Zhurkin V. V. 1998. European Union: Foreign policy, security, defense. Moscow, Europe Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences) (in Russian)


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