Moral political economy allows people to examine the embedding of norms within economic structures and the way in which material outcomes may depart from ostensible ethical drivers. In the case of European Union (EU) Association with African countries, moral economy perspective allows people to look at how 'development' norms have been embedded in the bilateral partnership between the blocs. Indeed, these critical actors construction of alternative moral economies opens up space for the rejection of initiatives such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) so vigorously pursued by the European Commission in the timeframe of Cotonou. This is an important element in African relations with the EU, since it offers scope for the construction of non-reciprocal trade structures that would respect pro-poor policy space for protectionism and developmentalism in former colonies. The moral economy approach help people to properly assess the functions of discourse within society in cementing internal commitment and external acceptance of policy agendas in the global trade regime.