Addressing state fragility in Guinea-Conakry: A European success story?

Consolidating the transitional process and improving resource exploitation in Guinea-Conakry would help to create stability and prosperity in the West Africa region. For the European Union (EU), this would mean enhanced conditions for trade and less incentive for illegal immigration into its member states. It would also enable the EU to gain broader security cooperation in the Sahel. So, redressing state fragility is a priority for external donors. In the aftermath of Guinea’s disputed 2010 elections, development partners hoped a successful democratic transition would improve resource management and secure peace and economic development. Democracy index Polity IV changed Guinea’s rating from
1 in 2009 to 6 in 2010, suggesting that the country would become a success story of a speedy and effective transition. This policy brief challenges this optimistic view and examines European policies in
Guinea, a country that ranks 156th out of 169 in the UN Human Development Index. The EU is Guinea’s most important development partner – it spent €155 million on aid to the country in 2008. But it
could improve its diplomatic influence. To counter state fragility, the EU must support institutions and not just rely on withholding aid. In this way, it can help to shape Guinea’s economic and security environment as the country takes its first steps towards a functioning democracy.

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2012

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