chapter  6
21 Pages

The efficacy of development aid suspensions in the context of the partnership agreements between the EU and the African-Caribbean-Pacific Group

Since 1995, the European Union has suspended development cooperation with a number of ACP countries. These suspensions have taken place within a specific legal-institutional regime, namely that of the Partnership Agreement between the EU andACP countries contained in the Cotonou Convention, which in 2000 succeeded a series of Lomé Conventions detailing a privileged trade relationship between the EU and some former colonies of its member states. Art. 96 of the Cotonou Convention provides for a consultation procedure which can be invoked in cases of serious breaches of human rights and democratic principles, and empowers the Council of the EU to suspend development aid. At first, an exploration of the efficacy of development aid cut-offs may appear

a departure from the theme of sanctions. The suspension of development aid is generally discussed in the context of relations between the EU and the developing world, and left out of the mainstream sanctions debate. The EU does not label these measures ‘sanctions’, and keeps them legally separate from CFSP measures. There is a considerable distance between classical embargoes and EU suspensions, as these are designed in such away as to spare the population of the country concerned from any suffering. Yet the suspension of aid under Art. 96 remains an attempt to influence in which benefits – aid and trade preferences – are withdrawn that would otherwise be available, and whose restoration is dependent on the fulfilment of a series of conditions defined by the EU. Comparing the efficacy of development aid suspensions with targeted sanctions directed exclusively at leaders will enable us to ascertain how economic pressure fares in the overall sanctions toolbox. Are targeted sanctions delivering better results in terms of target compliance than traditional economic tools? The present chapter looks at the efficacy of development aid cut-offs in the

framework of the Cotonou Convention as a coercive instrument of EU foreign policy. It does so by reviewing the cases in which this instrument has been wielded. While the dataset features cases prior to the signing of the Cotonou Convention, this chapter focuses on cases since 2000, given that these are better documented. Table 6.1 features major cases of suspensions of development cooperation under Art. 96 of the Cotonou Convention, and indicates the nature of the ‘appropriate measures’ taken. A brief overview of each case follows the table, and these serve as a basis for the concluding analysis.