EU Aid for Trade: Mitigating Global Trade Injustices?

Samuel Brazys, University College Dublin

Arya Pillai, University College Dublin

Johanne Døhlie Saltnes, ARENA Centre for European Studies

GLOBUS Research Paper 4/2019


Does European Union (EU) foreign economic policy contribute to global justice or does it further neo-colonial structures of economic dependence? To assess this question, we evaluate if and how the EU’s ‘Aid for Trade’ (AfT) efforts have impacted the political, institutional and economic relationships with six sub-Saharan African countries. After discussing the conceptualisation of global justice as non-domination, we evaluate how the AfT initiative has changed the politics and institutions of trade negotiations between Europe and its partner countries. We then take advantage of sub-national datasets on AfT and foreign direct investment (FDI) to see if EU AfT is effective in attracting FDI, either from its own source countries and/or from non-EU sources. Our findings are suggestive that EU AfT initiatives have mitigated global trade injustices by levelling the political, if not institutional, playing fields and by working to attract FDI from both EU and non-EU sources.

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Tags: Trade and development
Published Oct. 9, 2019 8:50 AM - Last modified Mar. 11, 2020 9:34 AM