UCL European Institute


Dr Toni Haastrup: Contemporary EU-Africa Relations and Agency

17 March 2021, 6:00 pm–7:15 pm

UCL's European Politics Series

Dr Toni Haastrup, Senior Lecturer International Politics at the University of Stirling.

This event is free.

Event Information

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Claudia Sternberg

Headshot of Dr Toni Haastrup
Abstract: One of the EU's longest foreign policy relationships is with Africa. This relationship has, however, gone through a series of changes having moved from a donor-recipient relationship to one of international partnership in other areas. The shift in the relationship has in part been due to the increased articulation of African agency in international affairs. The EU has, however, been reluctant to depart from the historical and hierarchical relationship, even as Africans seek reforms and turn to new partners.


The current situation has resulted in tensions, leaving the relationship going forward insecure. The most tangible result of this has been the stall in the renegotiation of the EU-ACP partnership. I would like to argue that 'EU-Africa relations' remains as is mainly because the EU is anxious (Kinvall, Manners and Mitzen, 2020). It is this anxiety that I explore, in the Africa case where it is reinforced by challenges to the EU's influence by other newer actors. In the quest to claim back influence, I argue that the EU risks greater rifts in the relationship.

Speaker: Dr Toni Haastrup

Dr Toni Haastrup is a Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Stirling. Her research explores the nature of power hierarchies between the Global North and South in both knowledge and practice. She has worked on the global governance of security via regional security institutions - the African and European Unions - among others in her monograph Charting Transformation through Security: Contemporary-EU Africa Relations (Palgrave, 2013). A part of her current research agenda draws on critical feminisms to understand the foreign policy practices of both institutions. She is Editor-in-Chief of JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies.

Chair: Dr Uta Staiger

Find more information on the UCL European Politics Series, including our full preliminary programme, here.