Babarinde, Olufemi. (2007) The EU as a Model for the African Union: the Limits of Imitation. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 7 No. 2 April 2007. [Working Paper]
[From the introduction]. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to analyze the AU and its Constitutive Act, and to discuss the limits of the comparison between the AU and its European counterpart. This paper will argue that whereas the architects of the AU relied on the EU template, the two entities are not only spatially apart, but fifty years apart. Hence, while it can be useful to employ tools and lessons from the experience of the EU to critically examine the AU, there are limits to the comparisons. The AU will have to chart its own course, travel at its own pace, find its own rhythm, and write its own history. The remainder of the paper is divided into five parts. The ensuing section two provides the context of the discourse by establishing the justification for regional integration as a panacea for Africa’s unenviable deplorable economic and political condition. The section that follows then provides an overview of the African continent’s experiences with regional integration initiatives. Afterward, the discourse shifts in section four to an examination of the main provisions of the AU’s Constitutive Act, particularly the new Union’s institutions and aspirations. Relying on relevant theories of integration, section five is devoted to an analysis of the AU’s challenges and opportunities, as well as performance to date. The last section concludes with some remarks.
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