The Decent Work Agenda and ACP-EU Relations
Paper presented at the EUSA Biennial Conference, Baltimore, USA, May 9th-11th, 2013
25 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 10, 2013
The European Commission has promised to promote decent work in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries through facilitation of pro-poor direct investment and livelihood-creating trade deals. Aligning with the discourse of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the European Commission seeks to ensure that ‘globalisation works for the poor’ and that economic growth is translated into decent jobs and poverty reduction. The paper argues, however, that there is disjuncture between the norms of the European Commission as espoused under the Decent Work Agenda and the tangible implications of European interventions in ACP economies. The implementation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) will have deleterious consequences for the lives of many poorer producers and workers in ACP agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The provision of Aid for Trade for Decent Work, moreover, may not deliver meaningful decent work opportunities in ACP countries.
Keywords: EU, Africa, ACP, trade, development, decent work, ILO
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