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The introductory chapter provides an overview of the evolution of the relationship between the 79-member African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group of states and the 28-strong European Union (EU) since 1975, and situates the book in the wider context of a changing international political and economic order. It also identifies the key issues and challenges that are shaping the contours of the ACP’s current engagement with the EU under the 2000 Cotonou Partnership Agreement, as well as its future prospects, with the end of this 20-year agreement in 2020 drawing nearer. These challenges relate, among other things, to: maintaining and strengthening the internal unity of the ACP group; balancing the shifting priorities and interests of the ACP and the EU; managing the differences in their respective approaches to development; understanding the importance of regional integration to development in the ACP, as well as assessing the impact of the ACP-EU partnership on it; and addressing power asymmetries as obstacles to more genuine partnership and effective development cooperation between the two sides. The chapter further provides summaries of the rest of the chapters in the volume, and in so doing draws out the main themes of the book.
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- Chapter 1
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