There are many ways in which to define the relationship between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Using Holsti‟s definitions of role theory, this study distinguishes between the ego (the EU) and the alter (the ACP countries), referring to the differing perceptions that each has regarding the same issue: the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). It is argued that the EU carries out its external policies vis-à-vis the ACP countries, and in particular with the EPAs, in a manner that is perceived very differently by the two parties. The EU perceives its behaviour as that of Normative Power Europe (NPE) whereby actions are identified as altruistic and determined by a number of norms that form the core of the EU. Alternatively, it is suggested that in contrast to NPE, the ACP countries, with specific reference to southern Africa, experience and perceive quite a different version of the EU which is determined by Market Power Europe (MPE). MPE highlights a tangible and self-interested Europe not concerned entirely with altruistic intentions but rather the interests of its Single Market. The co-existence of these perceptions accounts for the difficulties faced in concluding the EPA negotiations.