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EU Development Policy: Constitutional and Legislative Foundation(s).

Schütze, Robert



The Union’s constitutional regime for development policy has traditionally progressed alongside two parallel tracks. In addition to a general regime for all developing countries, there exists a special regime for African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP countries). The Union’s general development policy originated as a flanking policy within the Common Commercial Policy. This trade-centricity was only relativised by the insertion of an express development aid competence in 1992. The Union’s development cooperation competence can today be found in Article 209 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and allows the Union to adopt legislative acts or conclude international agreements to reduce poverty within developing countries. By contrast, the Union’s special development regime has had a very different constitutional source. It stemmed from the ‘colonial’ association to the Union (qua its Member States) of certain dependent ‘oversees countries and territories’ for which the 1957 Treaty of Rome had provided a limited development competence. Once these countries gained independence in the 1960s, however, the Union had to transfer this special regime to its contractual association competence under Article 217 TFEU.


Schütze, R. (2013). EU Development Policy: Constitutional and Legislative Foundation(s). The Cambridge yearbook of European legal studies, 15, 699-718.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2013-12
Deposit Date Apr 16, 2013
Journal The Cambridge yearbook of European legal studies.
Print ISSN 1528-8870
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Pages 699-718