EEC/EU and Development Aid from Lomé to Cotonou

Signature of the EEC/ACP Lomé Convention

In 1957, an association agreement connected to the Treaty of Rome, laid the foundation for a policy of European development aid. Initially founded on the idea of a Euro-African free trade zone, it included almost exclusively Francophone African countries as part of a European Development Fund for investments of an economic or social nature. Beginning in the 1970s with the signing of the first Lomé Convention (1975), European development aid evolved considerably, with regard to both the number of countries involved and the instruments adopted. After being renewed three times, the Lomé Convention gave way in 2000 to the Cotonou Agreement, which made European aid compatible with the World Trade Organization and integrated the new priorities of the EU in the post-Cold War period.