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From the Treaty of Rome to the European Consensus on Development: Five Decades of European Development Cooperation

Sanjida Siraj

Development cooperation was the last minute's entry in to the Treaty of Rome of 1957. Development cooperation, however, enjoyed a legal status as a Community competence since then and precedes the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). European Union (EU) Development cooperation has evolved over time. The dynamics of this evolution have often been affected by the EU's own internal metamorphosis. In December 2006, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers have adopted a Joint Statement on European Unions development Policy, 'The European Consensus'. This consensus reiterated the EU's overarching objective of development cooperation, namely, the reduction of global poverty. There are however new addition such as soft security agenda and migration. In this paper we study the evolution of EU development cooperation over the last five decades. We put forward the hypothesis that during these five decades the EU has loosely followed the global trend in development cooperation, with all its vices and virtues. To test this hypothesis, we delve into the evolution of different aid paradigms and show how the EU's own development cooperation can be seen as a follower rather than a trend- setter in the global aid regime.

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