|THE BIRTH OF NEOCOLONIALISM
WITHOUT AFRICA THE EUROPEAN UNION WOULD NOT EXIST
February 2007 will mark 50 years since the birth of Neocolonialism. It will have been a long and baffling 50 years for Africans. This devastating policy in Africa was established in order to reconstruct post war Europe and primarily to build European federalism. In fact the EU was made possible only through the imposition of Neocolonialism in Africa.
Africa has always featured significantly in efforts for European federalist thinking. In fact it can be argued that the control of Africa was central in the creation of the EU and its forerunners. The most important examples of efforts to assure claims over African territory, labor and resources in European federalist formulations prior to the establishment of the EEC, include the Convention of European Economic Cooperation (CEEC), the forerunner of the Organization of European Economic Cooperation (OEEC). Units of the OEEC later became the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD), the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the abortive European Defense Community (EDC), and the Council of Europe with the Plan of Strasbourg.
It is false to assume that Neocolonialism (in the form of maintaining control of African dependencies) was not the primary motive in establishing the EEC. The truth is that the control of Africa specifically, necessitated the creation of the EU. European colonial powers could not afford to singly maintain control over Africa, so they appealed to federalism to bail them out. Moreover, the EU was made possible only by European control of African labour and resources. In fact during EC treaty negotiations (including the Treaty of Rome) France made the control of its colonial territories the sine qua non for joining the EEC project, and the other European partners, especially Germany acquiesced to the French condition.
The matter of Africa was so significant to the process of EEC formulations that it nearly derailed European federalism in the 1950s. Resolutions central to what was renamed the EU stated that the “association” of “certain oversees territories” (meaning Africa) was an important feature of the EEC treaty. The six founder members of the EU could not maintain their economies without “association” with colonial territories. The six European states agreed on integrating the overseas territories of France, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands into the "European" Common Market.
The colonial order under which the Treaty of Rome was negotiated probably precludes any arguments that colonial matters made no difference to the strategic and systemic formulations of the European signatories. The record proves the case that Africa was central to the idea and the structural outcomes in the order that Europe was building.
Beginning in June 1955, at ministerial conferences in Venice, Brussel and Paris, (including a secret “technical” meeting at Château de Val-Duchesse near Brussels) France demanded annual contributions from above $100,000,000 from the other European states, to be used for economic development in French occupied Africa in exchange for allowing the Europeans to sell their products in Africa.
In February 1957 the French government proposed to begin by an “experimental five-year period during which those territories would receive European exports on a limited but annually increasing scale.” The French would expect the rest of the founder European states to buy increasing quantities of farm products and raw materials from the French occupied Africa. The idea that African areas under French rule were constitutionally part of France with the same political and economic rights as French territory in Europe was made void by the preferential treatment the French administration was asserting within the European Community.
For demanding a special status for French Europe over "French Africa" the French government was in violation of the constitution of the 1946 Fourth Republic, which recognized French occupied Africa, for instance, Algeria and Equatorial Africa, to be départements of France, with the same legal status as the Vaucluse or Upper Alsace, and not just a colony. The equal status for Africans in the French Constitution was a consequence of the decisive contribution that Africans had given the Free French when Germany had occupied France. The French were violating a sacred trust earned with African lives and land. Moreover, De Gaulle was well aware of Pan Africanism, and had promised self-government and said "We believe that the African Continent should be treated as a whole so far as the development of resources and communications are concerned..." The treatment the Africans had anticipated was not one of denial of equality, betrayal and self-serving semi-inclusion.
On February 20, six European Heads of Government agreed to include their overseas territories within the European Common Market under the satanic trade arrangement that came to be known as Neocolonialism, and issued a communique to the effect that Algeria, together with the other French Overseas Departments, was accorded a twofold status, being, on the one hand, close to full membership in the Community (Article 227 of the Rome Treaty), and, on the other hand, treated in a similar way with the associated territories (Article 16 of the Implementing Convention), meaning the rest of Africa. The French proposal to grant French-occupied Africa this peculiar status caused the other states to follow suit with their own overseas territories.
In December 1956 at the luncheon of the Association des Journalistes d’Otre-Mers, French Prime Minister Guy Mollet said France had no intention to be penalized in the problem of integrating Europe. He stated that “France can only enter the Common Market with her overseas territories; otherwise there will not be any Common Market”.
The matter of starting a new form of economic domination over Africa was the outstanding issue at the European Summit in Paris in1957. Without its resolution in favor of the French proposal over the exploitation of Africans, the EU would not exist today. The arrangement that was set up on February 20, 1957 came to be known as Neocolonialism. It was not inevitable, and Africa could have been an entirely different place had not the French and German governments built the EU over the graves of Africans.
The economic benefits of EU members, and the threats of France and the USA regarding the need to prevent Africa from becoming communist, encouraged colonial powers to grant “independence” to the Africans under the dubious Neocolonial scheme that has finally made the European Union a reality. In January 1957, following a heated debate in the French National Assembly, Prime Minister Mollet stated that the new arrangement with Africa must be established on the three following principles:
each country of the European Community will progressively obtain an equal access to the overseas products;
each of them will participate in financing the public investments overseas;
each of them will give a system of preferential treatment to the agricultural products for the overseas territories.
Guy Mollet added, “The Government considers that the association of the overseas territories must be regulated on the above-mentioned principles before the treaty (EEC) is signed.”
In otherwords, Africa would never be allowed to have democratic economic choices, and it was to be denied equal treatment with European states. Europe would decide what kind of economy Africans were to build. Africa was to supply Europes needs, African unity was to be scuttled, and the rest of Europe would fund that arrangement if they wanted France to join the EEC.
Since then, the EU’s officials have created a lot of disinformation about African underdevelopment, claiming that EU relations with Africa are a result of the need to help Africans, rather than the cause of underdevelopment in Africa. Yet all economic indicators show that in the 1950’s Africa was at the same or at a higher economic and political level of development than most of Asia and South America, but because of European neocolonial policy for Africa, Africans have endured 50 years of protracted obstruction and exploitation at the hands of the European Union.
END See Below for more AUF links on Neocolonialism
Britain Accuses EU of Conspiracy to Keep Africa Poor
African Bishops Demand an End to Neocolonialism
ACP-EU Joint Assembly