Trapped in Regionalism: The EU and Democracy Promotion in the South Pacific

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.16, Issue 5, December 2011, p689-704
Publication Date December 2011
ISSN 1384-6299
Content Type

This article analyses the substance of EU democracy promotion in the Pacific members of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific group (PACP) in the first decade of the new century. The PACP region represents a compelling, yet overlooked, case for several reasons: The EU has limited commercial and political interests but has strongly committed to the promotion of democracy in the region; the South Pacific represents a unique case of regional integration, including two larger countries like Australia and New Zealand and fourteen smaller states like the PACP countries and integrating traits typical of liberal democracies with more traditional forms of governance.

Drawing on published and unpublished documents and confidential interviews, this article finds that by promoting inter-regional political dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the EU has been entrapped by its own commitment to regionalism and has (unwillingly) delegated the substance of democracy promotion to Australia and New Zealand. This situation slightly started to change towards the end of the 2000s, when the EU sought to project an autonomous approach on democratic governance.

Source Link
Countries / Regions ,