The quest for partnership: Challenges for the EU’s rights-based approach to development
Johanne Døhlie Saltnes
Establishing a real and equal partnership with Africa has featured as a central goal for the European Union’s (EU) development policy over the last two decades. However, establishing equal partnerships with the global South has proven difficult to achieve. Critics hold that EU - Africa relations are unjust: The Union has been accused of operating with a lack of mutual respect towards its partner countries on the African continent. In this policy brief I show that the challenge of establishing an equal partnership is augmented by a tension in the EU’s development policy between the goal of supporting and enhancing country-owned development and the goal of conducting a rights-based approach to development. I further suggest some ways in which the EU can mitigate this tension and uphold a rights-based development policy while at the same time be a more respectful partner.