The Africa Policy of "Normative" Power EU Considering Cotonou Agreement and Promotion of EPAs
Trade policy as an instrument to spread human rights and democracy or superficial ‘normative’ action as a smoke screen for hidden economic agendas?
Hausarbeit (Hauptseminar) 2009 20 Seiten
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 ROLE MODEL THEORY
2.2 CONCURRENT THEORIES
2.2.1 EU AS A REALIST ACTOR
2.2.2 EU AS A NORMATIVE ACTOR
3. EMPIRICAL RESEARCH
3.1 THE NATURE OF EU-ACP RELATIONS
3.2 IMPLICATIONS FOR ACP COUNTRIES WITH FOCUS ON AFRICA
3.3 WTO COMPLIANCE AS A ‘REALIST’ ELEMENT
3.4 POLITICAL CONDITIONALITY AS A ‘NORMATIVE’ ELEMENT
6.1 PRIMARY SOURCES
6.2 SECONDARY SOURCES
Economic relations between the EU and ACP countries have a long tradition. After Yaoundé conventions in the 1960s, 1975 the first Lomé Agreement was established between ACP countries and EC member states. Between 1975 and 2000 EU and ACP countries ran four subsequent Lomé conventions replaced by Cotonou agreement now. Lomé was concerned to be an agreement providing ACP countries better access to European markets in order to push economic development and build up domestic production. The emergence of WTO in 1995 changed the regulatory framework for regional trade agreements in such a way, that Lomé IV could not pass into a fifth version. In order to be compliant with WTO measures, a new agreement was worked out 2000 in Cotonou. It came into power in 2002.
The complete establishment of that treaty it is still far from becoming reality, as a considerable number of ACP countries have still not negotiated EPAs. A crucial issue in these negotiations is the division of ACP countries in six groups for regional EPAs. This division does not merge with other regional trade and political networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and does not include all ACP countries.
With ‘good governance’ having emerged as a ‘vital’ issue in international politics and especially in EU’s agenda, a relevant number of non-economic issues found their way into Cotonou agreement. By linking trade agreements and development aid with the spread of European or Western democracy ‘standards’ those different fields were brought into contact. The major question of the following research shall be, whether EU trade policy towards ACP countries is supposed to be an instrument serving the diffusion of human rights and democracy or rather a ‘smoke screen’ for a hidden economic agenda.
This research will work with different approaches rooted in political science following the basic assumption EU-ACP cooperation has always been a political relationship1. In the following theoretical chapter (neo-)realist interpretation will be put in contrast to Ian Manners’ ‘normative’ power approach using Lisbeth Aggestam’s framework of role model theory. Further on, the research chapter will discuss characteristic matters of EU-ACP relations and put into focus chances and perils of conditional economic cooperation and development aid.
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1. ROLE MODEL THEORY
The question, whether EU is ‘ a political actor ’ in its foreign policy has been widely discussed by scholars. The following research paper will take up Aggestam’s2 proposal in order to structure the theoretical assessments. Aggestam takes up a pattern rooted in theatre studies and sociology3, known as role theory. Quoting Le Prestre she defines a role reflecting “a claim on the international system, a recognition by international actors, and a conception of identity”4.
As “there does not exist a single general role theory”5 this approach will only give a framework for how “EU’s international action” could be categorized, assuming that EU might be seen as an actor. Going along with Kalevi Holsti, who elaborated role theory for foreign policy in the 1970s and 1980s, Aggestam sees a dynamic interaction between those filling out such a role and the structure in which they are acting. Roles are therefore not constituted by political actors independently, but rely on other actors as well. According to Holsti, a role is firstly “a product of a nation’s socialisation process and influenced by its history, culture and societal characteristics”6, as “foreign policy-makers […] are neither completely free choosing agents, nor is their behaviour entirely determined by external structures”7.
For better illustrating and facilitate empirical use of role theory in foreign policy analysis, Aggestam proposes a threefold analytical scheme, consisting of “institutional, interactional and intensional”8 perspectives. She points out that “structures are upheld by ongoing processes of structuration”9, hence such perspectives should not be regarded as non-dynamic categories set once. That is basically why it is not sufficient to look only at the institutional perspective, as it cannot explain the dynamics of change. The interactional perspective allows further on to see how different actors are influencing themselves in a reciprocal way10, whereas the intensional perspective gives us the possibility to identify self-referential influence in constructing roles11. More relevant for this paper are Aggestam’s distinctions of roles. The division of expectation, conception, performance and set of a role12 will be used to illustrate possible differences between ‘legal’ and ‘living’ constitution of EU-ACP relations. Whereas ‘role expectations’ result from external expectations to an actor, who is supposed to “learn what behaviour is expected of”13 it, ‘role conception’ describes the self-given (“normative”14 ) claim the actor expresses towards itself. Aggestam further on notes that actors “tend to conceive multiple roles” and also try to allow themselves some “room for manœuvre”15. Role performance is then the “actual foreign-policy behaviour in terms of […] decisions and actions undertaken in specific situational contexts”16 and thus the empirical action seen under presumptions of role model theory. The role-set combines various roles adopted by an actor, it “represents the sum total”17 of roles of an invidual (or an actor). Aggestam mentions Duchêne’s “concept of civilian power Europe”18 as an example. Concluding she mentions role model theory as a concept to go “beyond mere considerations to maximize its material interests”19.
In the following the ‘role-sets’ will be EU as a ‘realist’ power20 or actor compared to it being a ‘normative’ power. This paper will not further take into consideration the sources and conflict potentials of roles Aggestam is dealing with .
2.2. CONCURRENT THEORIES
2.2.1 EU AS A REALIST ACTOR
The realist approach as a grand theory21 in Political Science has had little influence22 in the current analysis of EU international action, compared to other major approaches, like the liberal-idealist, although we will see below it merits to be also used in this field. As Adrian Hyde-Price argues, liberal-idealist approaches are rather concentrated in values and which way they are promoted, instead of analyzing power and power constellation as Realism does. Quoting Hedley Bull, Hyde-Price points out that ‘normative’ or ‘ethical’ power is strongly related to a “strategic environment provided by the military power of states, which they did not control”23 and can therefore be an incomplete analytical frame.
Following the classical realist division of “high politics” and “low politics”, issues like security, welfare and sovereignty are to be classified as parts of the first group, whereas issues like norms and values are forming the second group. A realist assessment about EU being a ‘normative’ or ‘ethical’ power must therefore rely on the condition that EU is enjoying a certain state of security, which is enabling it to dedicate itself to what is defined as ‘low politics’. Hence, EU’s abilities to spread values as an international actor are highly depending on a favourable environment in terms of power constellations. This implies on one hand that it is able to provide security for its members as a collective actor and on the other hand the absence of existential threats. Examining these implications would be impossible without taking into consideration the sui generis24 nature of the European Union.
As there is no real ‘European army’ or anything else comparable to this25 and there are even visible threats to security in various member states26, realist argumentation needs to be amended by rationality. Adrian Hyde-Price suggests using it as an intervening factor in the action of a state27.
Thus, within the frame of security and sovereignty, states “also pursue distinctive normative and ideological agendas, usually in response to domestic political factors”28, but do not do that “at the expense of their vital national interests”29 which are namely the so-called ‘high politics’. As long as their security and sovereignty will not be affected negatively, states are likely to act value-orientated. A European country for example should be strongly interested in being seen as a fighter for universal Human Rights, as they correspond widely to fundamental values in European societies. Hyde-Price is calling the EU “a vehicle for the collective pursuit”30 of such and similar interests.
Used as an element of conditionality this vehicle can have structural access in other fields where the EU can be seen as an “instrument”31 of its members. That is the case in economic policy, where the EU is supposed to be the agent representing collective interests of the member states, or in international diplomacy where the “EU acts as a collective hegemon, shaping its external milieu by utilizing both hard and soft power”32. The striking gap between realist and norm-based approaches is that in realism norms and values are ‘instruments’ or even ‘instruments of instruments’33, whereas normative approaches place them in the theory’s core.
1 cp. Hurt, Stephen R.: Co-operation and coercion? 2003, p. 161-176.
2 Aggestam, Lisbeth: Role Theory and European foreign policy: a framework for analysis. 2006, p. 11-29.
3 Ibid. p. 12.
4 Ibid. p. 11.
5 Ibid. p. 12.
6 Holsti, Kalevi, in: Ibid. p. 13.
7 Ibid. p. 13.
8 Ibid. p. 14.
9 Ibid. p. 14.
10 Cp. Ibid. p. 16-17.
11 Cp. Ibid. p. 17.
12 Cp. Ibid. p. 18.
13 Aggestam, p. 18.
14 Ibid. p. 18.
15 Both: Ibid. p. 20.
16 Ibid. p. 20.
17 Ibid. p. 21.
18 Duchêne, in: Ibid. p. 21.
19 Ibid. p. 25.
21 As it is not a major question of this research to reveal the major differences of classical and neo-realism there will be no further division of those terms.
22 Cp. Hyde-Price, Adrian: ’ Normative ’ power Europe: a realist critique, 2006, p. 218. 5
23 Bull, Hedley, 1982, p. 151, in: Hyde-Price, Adrian 2006, p. 218.
24 In this case, the term ‘sui generis’ targets the different polity frames (supranational vs. intergovernmental) shaping EU policy in the different columns.
25 Certainly the so-called ‘ EU-Battlegroups ’ cannot be characterized as an army.
26 External threats would be i.e. terrorist attacks in Madrid or London, but also ‘neighbourhood issues’ like war in former Yugoslavia. Internal threats would be i.e. the civil riots in Athens at the end of 2008.
27 cp. Hyde-Price, Adrian: A ‘ tragic actor ’ ? A realist perspective on ‘ ethical Europe ’, 2008, p.31.
30 Ibid. p 32.
31 Ibid. p 31.
32 Hyde-Price, Adrian, in: Sjursen, Helen: What kind of power? 2006, p. 178.
33 Illustrating the relation norms and values can have towards EU milieu-shaping, yet defined as ‘instrument’ by Hyde-Price.
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- africa policy power cotonou agreement trade european union multilateralism international relations lomé european partnership agreement development cooperation