South Africa and the European Union: Self-interest, Ideology and Altruism

South Africa and the European Union: Self-interest, Ideology and Altruism documents the relationship between the most powerful economic blocs in the world.
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Title: South Africa and the European Union
Subtitle: Self-interest, Ideology and Altruism
Author: Gerrit Olivier
Publisher: Protea Boekhuis
Pretoria, South Africa 2006
ISBN 9781869191399 / ISBN 978-1-86919-139-9
Softcover, 15 x 24 cm, 187 pages, English


In 1994, South Africa's 342 year old epoch of Eurocentric values made way for a new era of Afrocentrism. The impact of this transformation on the South African political culture and the perceptions of decision makers was obviously profound. This was especially true with regards to the country's foreign policy, which began to concentrate more specifically on Africa, the Southern hemisphere and the developing world in general. Europe was no longer at the apex of South Africa's foreign policy hierarchy. Though the European influence was not totally disregarded, it was superseded by new interests, objectives and ideological predilections that moved from the previous close cultural and political ties to an economic basis. This new economic relationship was epitomised by the conclusion of a Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement in 1999. Today, the EU is South Africa's biggest trading partner as well as the biggest donor of development aid to the country. Even so, these amicable relations have never developed into what may be called a "special relationship". But with the ever increasing importance of economic diplomacy as part of countries' foreign policy, this might change soon. Europe, and the EU in particular, is of primary importance to South Africa, from both a political and economic perspective. Because the EU is not a state or nation but a complex, multilateral organisation with many dimensions, it is often not understood in South Africa. This book has been written in an attempt to cast more light on the EU and its importance in South Africa. Hopefully, it will also encourage South Africans to take more interest in the relationship between these two parties and to become involved in the intellectual and policy-related debate surrounding it.

Content: South Africa and the European Union: Self-interest, Ideology and Altruism

List of abbreviations
Europe's role in the shaping of South Africa: An overview
Europe and apartheid South Africa: The parting of ways
South Africa's foreign policy and national interests in the context of the European Union's international role
The evolution of the European Union's development policy
The European Union's policy towards democratic South Africa
Benevolence and self-interest in the European Union's policy towards South Africa
The regional context of South African/European Union/African relations
The European Union and NEPAD: From failed promises to partnership
An assessment of European Union policy towards South Africa
Selected Bibliography