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France, Europe and Development Aid. From the Treaties of Rome to the Present Day

Gérard Bossuat
Gordon D. Cummings

Beginnings of European Development Aid (1957-1975)

From Dakar to Brussels: Passing on Colonial Methods to the Heart of European Development Policies1

Véronique Dimier

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This new post did not change my job in any way: as the controller delegate (“contrôleur délégué”) representing the European Commission I did what I had always done as a colonial administrator, persuading the people and their leaders that a particular project could benefit them, negotiating with my African contacts to initiate or launch a particular rural modernisation project. We […] spent hours talking with the African authorities […]. In some cases, we achieved a very great deal. I regarded X, the Minister for the Plan, as my brother. It was absolutely essential to have a valid interlocutor and to come to a good understanding with him.

It would be hard to do better than René Teissonnière, former colonial administrator, controller delegate of the European Development Fund, European Economic Community,2 when describing what some European Commission officials regarded as the “remarkable understanding” between the French colonial administration and African elites, an under...


Véronique Dimier is a professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles where she teaches international development policies. With a doctorate in political science from Grenoble University, she has previously taught at the Institut Européen d’Administration Publique in Maastricht (IEAP). She is the author of Le gouvernement des colonies : regards croisés franco-britanniques, Presses Universitaires de Bruxelles, 2004, and Recycling Empire: the Invention of a European Development Aid Bureaucracy, Palgrave Macmillan, in publication.

© Institut de la gestion publique et du développement économique, 2013

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