The EU’ s normative power, especially in its relations with Africa, can also be seen through economic cooperation under the wider European Union – African Caribbean and Pacific states (EU-ACP) Economic Partnership Agreements. Benefits like economic aid, budgetary support, technical assistance and trade concessions to EU markets have been used by the EU as conditionalities to the practice of good governance in African states. (Scheipers and Sicurelli, 2007) Hence the EU has played key roles in the democratization of many African countries that were under military rule. The EU’ s observer team was for instance present in polling stations in Ghana during the 1992 general elections that returned the country to democratic rule, and the observer team’ s verdict that the elections were largely free and fair, helped stabilise the country’ s young democracy and served as a model for other West African states to follow.
Conceptualising military power on the other hand, as has been said in passing, would involve the use of the military in addressing situations. Also as observed by Smith (n. d.) even the use of the military in peace keeping still constitutes military power and can thus not be conceived of a an exercise of civilian power.
It is worthy of note that the use of military power cannot be viewed only in actual terms but also in potential terms. Thus the ominous building of an army, even if there are no stated immediate aims for using it, would be tantamount to building a military power. During the era of the Cold War for instance, the arms race and the building of large armies did not result in the much speculated World War III or a nuclear war.
The fact that the U. S. and the Soviet Union did not use their weapons of mass destruction against each other, did not, however, detract from the fact that they had built enough arsenals to become superpowers. Before proceeding further, an interjection with a panoramic historical view of the EU’ s development is deemed necessary, so as to analyze its changing role over time in both regional and international affairs.
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