The EU and regional integration in West Africa: effects on conflict resolution and transformation

2017-05-19T13:25:55Z (GMT) by Giulia Piccolino Stephanie Minou
This paper focuses on West Africa and examines the role of the European Union (EU) in the promotion of regional integration in the region. It also addresses the effects of regional integration on regional conflict transformation, through the lenses of the two main regional organisations: the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), known in English as the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The first section of the paper provides a brief background on the dynamics of conflicts in West Africa along with their regional dimensions. The paper then presents an overview of the main regional integration initiatives in the region, illustrating the different sectors of regional integration. The third section describes the EU activities in the region, examining specifically its policies and interventions and its support for regional organizations. The final sections provide an assessment of regionalism and the EU’s impact in West Africa, concluding with some policy recommendations.