Africa, the European Union and China Towards a New Global Order – From Pandemic to Renewed Integration and Global Cooperation?

Edited by Jean-Marc Trouille, Leonidas Ndayisaba and Helen Trouille

Studii Europene No 15 (2020)

In three special issues of European Studies / Studii Europene, scholars from diverse horizons, covering a variety of disciplines, examine cooperations between Africa, the European Union (EU) and China, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Whilst the pandemic constitutes one of the core threads linking these contributions, the special issues also draw on the activities carried out since 2017 by the EU-EAC Jean Monnet Network in East Africa, as well as on the core research themes of the network: regional integration, and international cooperation, particularly between the European Union, Africa, and China. They explore issues related to Africa, the EU, China, globalisation, and perspectives of international cooperation in a post-COVID-19 world.

In a joint article in this collection, Helen Trouille and Mbembe Binda consider the Freedom of movement (FOM) of legal services, the considerable economic growth which this has brought to the legal services market in England and Wales and very real benefits to legal practitioners within the EU. At the same time, another successful Regional Economic Community, the East African Community (EAC), is struggling to commit to FOM of legal services, and Partner States, fearful of competition, prefer to protect their legal services markets rather than embrace integration which could bring growth. This article explores the stream-lined situation in England and Wales pre-Brexit and contrasts the concerns associated with the loss of FOM on leaving the EU expressed by legal professional bodies and lawyers there with the reticence encountered in the EAC, focussing on Rwanda.

It analyses the EAC’s reluctance to embrace liberalisation of the market in legal services despite the commitments of the Common Market Protocol, and concludes finally that, in both contexts, lawyers are losing out – EU lawyers practising in the UK, English and Welsh lawyers practising in the EU, seeing their rights to practice restricted. Similarly, the slow progress to liberalisation of legal services has obstructed cross border practice for Rwandan lawyers in the EAC and hampered growth in the legal services market.

Read their article ‘The Evolution of the Free Movement of Lawyers in the European Union and the East African Community Compared: Achievements and challenges in implementing integration freedoms in England and Wales and Rwanda’ here.