The Cotonou Agreement of June 2000 substantially changed the regime for trade between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states by installing a system of trade and co-operation agreements, to be known as Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). The EPAs were conceived as a very broad undertaking, covering not only merchandise trade, but also trade in services, investment, and larger development issues. But the impact of the EPAs goes far beyond the economic realm, as the title of this volume suggests. While the formal meaning of “Negotiating Regions” is obvious – regional groupings are the EPA negotiators -, the substantial meaning reveals itself less straightforward: the proclaimed EU objective to reinforce regional integration, especially in Africa, is far from being assured. The EPA negotiations have led to a deterritorialisation of parts of the continent, i.e. in some cases they disrupted ongoing integration exercises. At the same time they have also led to a reterritorialisation of Africa, i.e. they fostered the development of new regional groupings. In conclusion, EPAs contribute to a geographically even more diverse landscape of regional groupings in Africa on the one hand and to a technical streamlining of ongoing integration exercises on the other. In this volume international experts on African studies and global economics discuss aspects related to the EPAs and the challenges, questions and advantages they create for the trade between the EU and Africa and the development of the African continent.
The Cotonou Agreement of June 2000 substantially changed the regime for trade between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states by installing a system of trade and