Decolonisation: geopolitical issues and impact on the European integration process


The subject file ‘Decolonisation: geopolitical issues and impact on the European integration process’ explores the key moments in the disintegration of the European colonial empires, with a particular emphasis on French and British decolonisation, and looks at how this process of decolonisation influenced the European integration process.

The subject file begins by outlining the main stages in decolonisation after 1945, illustrated by specific examples. The Cold War and the increasing international condemnation of colonialism provided conditions that were ripe for indigenous peoples to gradually loosen the ties binding them to a Europe that was drained and in ruins following the Second World War.

At the same time, the creation of the European Community forced the European powers to reconcile their overseas and European policies. The emergence of Third-World countries in the international arena changed relations between Europe and its (former) colonies and raised the question of a Community development aid policy. This subject file therefore goes on to examine the debates that led in 1957 to the association of the overseas countries and territories (OCTs) with the European Economic Community (EEC), then to the signing of the Yaoundé Convention in 1963 and the Lomé Convention in 1975.

A particular strength of the subject file is the compilation and analysis of a rich, varied selection of more than 700 resources, including archive documents, press articles, correspondence, extracts from memoirs, photos and cartoons.

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