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By Marjorie Lister (eds.)

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It will present a picture of our current relations, and options on where we might go from here. lt intends to build on what has been achieved so far, and adapt our policies where necessary. Regarding strategy, the first issue to consider will be the role of Europe in North-South relations. In a changing international environment, where the US does not exercise leadership any more in North-South relations, and where Europe provides more than 50 per cent of global Official Development Assistance, the question is whether Europe should not assert greater leadership.

This is analogous to some firms which cannot compete successfully in global markets and go bankrupt. Likewise some countries are unable to produce any globally competitive products. Colin Leys over-estimated the extent to which this idea is generally accepted, but the point that some states- the small, poor, island, landlocked, disadvantaged, ethnically divided- cannot contend in the increasingly sophisticated international market seems justified in practice: 17 Most observers accept that significant parts of the former Third World, including most of sub-Saharan Africa, are more likely to regress than to advance in the new global economy; it is in the nature of an unregulated competitive system that this will happen.

Fawcett and Hurrell argued that increasing regionalism is a central fact of post-Cold War politics. ' 42 Thus, with its developed-developing country structure, Lome is comparable to the new regional organisations such as the North Atlantic Free Trade Area (NAFTA) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation organisation (APEC), which have been setting international trends in the 1990s. So pervasive is the trend towards establishing or strengthening regional organizations that it could be argued that if the Lome group of European, African, Caribbean and Pacific states did not now exist, it would almost have to be createdY A growing sense of regional identity can be found in many areas of the world, not least Europe.

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