Few expected the so-called Economi
Africa-European Union Trade: Seismic Rupture
The December summit of European and African heads of state in Lisbon was supposed to herald a ‘new partnership’ between the two continents, the dawn of an era of equality and mutual respect. Instead it revealed deep divisions over free trade agreements between the European Union and 76 of its former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Paciﬁc. The deadline is the turn of the year, when the existing preferences, ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization, expire. Twenty countries have signed up, but the pressure is mounting and Europe is refusing to remove the red lines. The continent’s reputation and many of the world’s poorest people are set to suffer.