EU as Mentor? Promoting Regionalism as External Relations Practice in EU–Africa Relations

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Series Details Vol.35, No.7, November 2013, p785-800
Publication Date November 2013
ISSN 0703-6337
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This article examines regionalism in the context of the EU inter-regional relations with Africa. It especially focuses on the EU–African Union (AU) relationship. It evaluates this relationship using a typology based on the policy diffusion literature and challenges the notion that the AU is a model of the EU. It addresses the institutionalisation of Africa’s own regional integration process in the context of the EU’s broader external relations practice, which prioritises support for local processes. Rather than a model, the article argues that the EU is best placed to serve as mentor to the AU as the latter seeks to foster regional integration in Africa. By mentoring, the EU is able to fulfil its overarching external relations commitments to local ownership, and realise deepened further integration in Africa.

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