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November 15 , 2009

The European Union's Africa Policies

Norms, Interests and Impact


The European Union (EU) is a key partner for African regional organizations and a major promoter of economic and political integration in the region. Several studies have interpreted the EU's role in Africa as either a self-interested hegemonic actor or as a value oriented normative power.

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In this volume, Daniela Sicurelli challenges these views by taking a closer look at Europe's policies towards Sub-Saharan Africa in the area of peacekeeping, trade and development, and environmental protection. Using fresh empirical evidence, including interviews with both European and African officials, she argues that the EU is far from becoming a unitary player in Africa. Lacking a clear strategy and coherent normative framework, the EU should be considered a multi-level actor, where national and supranational institutions have different interests and push forward contrasting views of what role Europe should play in Africa. The ability of single institutions to frame an issue as requiring either intergovernmental or supranational procedures appears crucial for shaping the content of European Africa policies.

An original contribution to the growing literature on the EU as an international actor, this book is extremely useful to scholars, researchers and policy-makers demanding critical work in the field of EU-Africa policy.

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