The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances
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The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances

Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson

The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances looks at the role of the European Union in addressing some of the greatest challenges of our time: poverty, protectionism, climate change, and human trafficking. Contributions from ten leading scholars in the fields of economics, law, and political science provide in-depth analyses of three key dimensions of EU foreign policy, namely: the internal challenges facing the EU, as its 28 member countries struggle to coordinate their actions; the external challenges facing the EU on the global arena, in areas where global imbalances are particularly pervasive, and where measures taken by the Union can have an important impact; and the EU´s performance on the global arena, in the eyes of other key actors. Based on a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of the concept of global imbalances, this book argues that these challenges follow from pervasive global imbalances, which at root are economic, political, and legal in character.
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Chapter 3: The role of aid in reducing global imbalances: the EU and Africa

Arne Bigsten


The EU as a whole – that is, the EU Commission together with the member states – is responsible for over half of global aid. The purpose of this aid is to reduce global imbalances and injustices. The biggest imbalance is the one between the rich countries and Africa; therefore, attacking this imbalance has top priority within the EU. This chapter discusses how the economic imbalance between the EU and Africa can be reduced with the help of development policy. The discussion of development policy is currently intense within the EU and elsewhere, due to rapid changes in the global economic landscape. Emerging economies are driving global growth and the development cooperation arena has seen diversification of actors, instruments and delivery mechanisms (Kharas and Rogerson, 2012; Addison et al., 2013; Mawdsley et al., 2014). There is a much greater presence of non-Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors such as China (Bräutigam, 2011; see also Chapter 8, this volume), and the non-governmental organization (NGO) sector has expanded dramatically and moved into new areas (Birdsall et al., 2013). There is a strong need to understand what works and what does not work in the complex business of development cooperation. This chapter seeks to contribute to this discussion from an EU perspective.

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