EU Development Cooperation - A Stock-Taking and a Vision for the Future

50 Pages Posted: 9 May 2015

Date Written: May 9, 2015


EU Development Cooperation has evolved over half a century. In this time, this policy has undergone dramatic change. There can be no doubt that initially, the EEC and its MS started from a paternalistic and in a certain sense also egoistic attitude. By the way, in this attitude the EEC and its MS were not alone. It was a rather common relationship between “donor” countries and recipients. Now, this situation has changed. The respective process has taken place slowly, often even nearly imperceptibly, but over the years these changes were substantial. The focus is now on a truly egalitarian partnership. On a world-wide scale, the EU has now become one of the main actors in development cooperation and this holds true also when it comes to conceiving new instruments and avenues for this policy. At the moment, intense discussions are under way on how to re-conceive development cooperation for the future. In this, important contributions are coming from the EU. The development policy has become a highly valuable asset for the EU, in particular as far as its image on the international scene is concerned.

This essay has been conceived as a stock-taking about past discussions and achievements in this field. At the same time, however, a focus is set on possible future developments in this area.

Keywords: EU Development Cooperation, Cotonou Agreement, develpment policy, regional integration, development aid, solidarity

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Hilpold, Peter, EU Development Cooperation - A Stock-Taking and a Vision for the Future (May 9, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Peter Hilpold (Contact Author)

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Innrain 52
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020


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