The EU as a Foreign Policy Actor: Shifting Between Hegemony and Dominance
This article demonstrates that in the case of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the EU, as the more powerful actor, shifts between hegemony and dominance in its relations with the CARIFORUM (CF) states in particular, and the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states in general. It also sheds light on the slow process of endogenous Caribbean regional integration, which, despite any best endeavours from the EU, is actually complicated by the EU's emphasis on the EPA as a tool for integration. It shows that despite the conclusion and subsequent definition of the EPA as the case par excellence of the success of the broader EPA policy, it is not a Pareto-optimal agreement. Reference is made to the cases of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, the Protocol on Culture and the recent decision by EU policy-makers to extend the Octroi de Mer until 2020, the same date as the Cotonou agreement binding EU-ACP relations is due to expire.
Keywords: European Union; CARIFORUM; Cotonou; Trade; EPAs