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

Gérard Bossuat
Gordon D. Cummings

Enlargements and New Aid Paradigms (1975-1995)

UK-European Community Aid Relations over the Lomé Years : Reciprocal Influences or a Dialogue de sourds?

Gordon D. Cumming

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Extrait du texte

Soon after joining the European Community (EC) in 1973, the United Kingdom came to be regarded by other member states as “an awkward partner”.1 The British felt particularly aggrieved that their voices were not being heard on issues such as the UK budget rebate and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). They complained in more measured tones about their lack of influence over the EC’s “haphazard” and “diffuse” aid programmes.2 Yet how justified was the UK in claiming that it did not enjoy, in the early decades after acceding to the EC, its fair share of influence over European development assistance?

This is an important question that is not addressed in the literature. Only a handful of commentators touch upon Britain’s role in shaping European aid and most suggest that the UK had little or no influence. Cosgrove Twitchett argues that, during the negotiations on Lomé I (Europe’s first aid and trade agreement with former African, Caribbean and Pacific countries), the UK was “temperam...


Gordon D. Cumming is a professor of political science at Cardiff University. He is an honorary member of the Royal Historical Society and teaches as a visiting fellow at the Bordeaux Institut d’Études Politiques (IEP). He began his career in the British Foreign Office. His research interests concern the foreign and development policies of France, Britain and the European Union. He also focuses on French and Anglo-American non-governmental organisations and on policies to promote the capability of civil society. He has produced reports for the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) and for Chatham House. In addition, he has published numerous articles, chapters and books (Aid to Africa, 2001; French NGOs in the Global Era, 2009; and, with Professor Tony Chafer, From Rivalry to Partnership: New Approaches to the Challenges of Africa, 2011).

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

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