Author: Prof. Dr. Mirjam van Reisen
This study concludes that a fast changing context is crucial in the range of options that can be considered for the future perspectives of the ACP group. Extensive interviews with over 60 representatives, government ministers, ambassadors and other resource people from ACP countries and beyond provide the empirical material for this study.
The study finds that interviewees of the ACP have a clear appreciation of the changing global context, including of the EU’s challenges in terms of financial and economic terms and its growing internal concerns with poverty relating to the financial crisis, the inclusion of new members and the
growing global competition.
It is also recognized by the majority of respondents that the relationship between the ACP and the EU has provided historic opportunities and that a stable extensive network of reliable structures, relations, working procedures and valuable networks have been created.
The study also emphasizes that it will take time to establish the relevance of the EU Lisbon Treaty for the EU’s positioning in the world and that it is too early to draw definite conclusions; it is also argued that the ACP – EU relationship is multidimensional and has strong historic roots, and the
continuation of the relationship is a more likely scenario than one of a complete break-up, given the ACP and EU shared interests in a strategic relationship.