The development cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU) is the largest foreign aid framework between the EU and developing states worldwide. This partnership came about with the Treaty of Rome (1957) as a programme for states that would later become the ‘Inner Six’ of the EU, to maintain diplomatic and economic relations with their former, exclusively African, colonies. Over time, as the EU expanded, the scope of the OACPS-EU development cooperation also increased. Currently, the partnership covers 79 receiving counties, including African, Caribbean, and Pacific states. In addition to the general EU budget, there is a special fund for OACPS cooperation: the European Development Fund (EDF). Budgetary decision-making is different in the EDF than in the EU budget, as Member States have more power to decide on their contributions. Hence, the EDF budget reflects the interests of EU Member States. This research investigates the foreign aid policies of two specific cases that are (former) EU Member States: Germany and the United Kingdom (UK). These states, together with France, formed the Big Three in European Foreign Policy decision-making and constituted the largest European donors of development aid. The combined contributions of Germany and the UK provide more than one third of the total contributions to the EDF. Since the OACPS-EU development cooperation was founded as a programme for maintaining post-colonial relations, the contributions of both Germany and the UK present an interesting puzzle, due to the influential colonial power of the UK and the much lesser colonial power of Germany. The aim of this study is to analyse which factors have shaped German and British foreign aid policies in the framework of the OACPS-EU development cooperation between 1995 and 2017. The congruence analysis consists of three IR theories: realism, liberalism, and constructivism. This congruence analysis has a competing theories approach and uses the empirical data that will be derived from a discourse analysis. The discourse analysis is applied to national policy documents concerning development cooperation. By comparing the theoretical propositions to the empirical evidence, it will be concluded which IR theory has most explanatory leverage in the state motivations of Germany and the UK in the OACPS-EU development cooperation. Keywords: Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), European Union (EU), Development cooperation, Foreign aid policy, State motivations

Prof.dr. A.G. Dijkstra, Dr. K. Strapelbroek
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Melanie van den Heuvel. (2021, August 30). Behind OACPS-EU development aid. Public Administration. Retrieved from