Lome Convention

Lome Convention

Introduction to Lome Convention

Lomé Convention, trade and aid agreement between the European Union (EU) and 70 African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries, first signed in February 1975 in Lomé, Togo. The Lomé Convention provided a framework of cooperation between the European Community (EC)-the EU’s predecessor-and former British, Dutch, and French colonies in the developing world. The agreement enabled most ACP agricultural and mineral exports to enter the EC free of tariff. In addition, the EC provided assistance to ACP nations to protect against fluctuations in the world prices of agricultural and mineral exports. It also committed $3.8 billion toward aid and investment in ACP countries. Subsequent renewals of the Lomé Convention have steadily increased aid and investment expenditures, which amounted to $17.9 billion in 1995.

Most observers agree the Lomé Convention has lost its effectiveness in addressing problems of poverty and underdevelopment in ACP nations. The global trend toward liberalization of international trade and away from trade preferences of any sort have undermined the special relationship between EU and ACP nations. It has been harder still to justify this relationship given its failure to produce the desired results. While the goal of the Lomé Convention was to expand trade between ACP and European nations, the ACP’s share of European markets has actually declined since 1975. ACP nations have also found themselves increasingly at odds with industrialized nations and other developing nations over the issue of preferential access to European markets. In the 1990s, for instance, Caribbean banana farmers feared that more open global trade would enable corporate plantations in Central America to flood European markets with cheaper bananas, with devastating effects on Caribbean economies. Negotiations in 1993 led to an agreement maintaining the Caribbean producers’ preferential access. However, the controversy divided nations within the EU and led the United States, which represented corporate growers of bananas in non-ACP countries, to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

In response to these challenges, the European Union has essentially abandoned the tradition of a special relationship between EU and ACP nations. In 1995 negotiations with ACP nations and in subsequent statements, the EU has committed itself to a more pragmatic relationship based upon principles of free trade, open markets, private enterprise, diminished aid contributions, and tighter controls over these contributions. The 1995 negotiations between the EU and the ACP nations also tied aid more directly to a nation’s quality of governance and respect for democracy and human rights.” (1)

Legal Materials

The “Lome Convention” is really a series of four trade treaties between the European Union (EU) and the ACP (African, Caribbean, Pacific) States. You can read an explanation of the Convention in the European Law Reporter. The convention was in effect from from 1975 to 2000.

Documents relating to Lome meetings were published in International Law Materialsat:

  • Lome I (1975): 14 I.L.M. 595
  • Lome II (1980): 19 I.L.M. 327
  • Lome III(1985): 24 I.L.M. 571
  • Lome IV (1990): 29 I.L.M. 783.

You can pull these I.L.M. cites off Lexis using the form: Lxe xx I.L.M. xxx.
Cotonou Agreement: The Lome Convention was followed by the Cotonou Agreement, officially titled “The Partnership Agreement Between the Members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the One Part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the Other Part, signed in Cotonou, Benin on 23 June 2000.” (catchy, that) The Cotonou Agreement is available on EISIL.

Lomé Convention and Europe

There is an entry on lomé convention in the European legal encyclopedia.

Lome Convention


See Also

Further Reading


See Also

Further Reading

  • Entry “Lomé Convention” in the work “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)


See Also

  • Treaties
  • European Union
  • Lome Conventions
  • Caribbean Community And Common Market
  • Acp Countries
  • African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries Group
  • Multilateral Trade Negotiations
  • European Patent Convention
  • Development Aid
  • Agricultural Products
  • Tir Convention
  • European Development Fund
  • Schengen Convention
  • International Integration

Notes and References

Guide to Lome Convention

Lome Convention and the GATT Policy Negotiations

In relation to the GATT Policy Negotiations, Christopher Mark (1993) provided the following explanation and/or definition of Lome Convention: A series of preferential trade and economic assistance agreements — the first of which was signed in 1975 in Lome, Togo –between the European Community and 69 former colonies of the EC member states (the ACP countries). Superseded the Yaounde Conventions of 1963 and 1969.

Hierarchical Display of Lomé Convention

European Union > European construction > EU relations > Agreement (EU) > Association agreement (EU) > ACP-EU Convention

Lomé Convention

Concept of Lomé Convention

See the dictionary definition of Lomé Convention.

Characteristics of Lomé Convention

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Translation of Lomé Convention

Thesaurus of Lomé Convention

European Union > European construction > EU relations > Agreement (EU) > Association agreement (EU) > ACP-EU Convention > Lomé Convention

See also