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Indonesia and prospects for closer EU ties

09-10-2017

Public opinion surveys suggest that although most Indonesians do not know much about the European Union, they generally feel positively towards it. Looking at the principles underpinning key Indonesian government policies over the past few decades, there is much common ground between the EU and Indonesia. Some of the biggest gaps are in the field of economic policy, where the EU's commitment to trade and investment liberalisation contrasts with Indonesia's more ambiguous stance. There are more similarities ...

Public opinion surveys suggest that although most Indonesians do not know much about the European Union, they generally feel positively towards it. Looking at the principles underpinning key Indonesian government policies over the past few decades, there is much common ground between the EU and Indonesia. Some of the biggest gaps are in the field of economic policy, where the EU's commitment to trade and investment liberalisation contrasts with Indonesia's more ambiguous stance. There are more similarities in foreign and security policy: like the EU, Indonesia is strongly supportive of regional integration, and its efforts to build south-east Asian consensus mirror the EU's common foreign and security policy. Climate change is another area of convergence, with strong commitments from both sides to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Indonesia shares both the EU's motto of 'unity in diversity' and its commitment to multiculturalism; thanks to a successful democratic transition, it has also moved closer to the EU's approach to human rights, although there are still concerns about the situation of some Indonesian minorities. Positive Indonesian perceptions of the EU and shared values are a strong foundation for the two sides to develop closer economic and political cooperation. Indonesia is an important partner for the EU both in its own right and as a leading member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with which the EU aims to develop a strategic partnership.

The future of EU - ASEAN relations

20-04-2017

Marking the 40th anniversary of the start of their dialogue ASEAN and the EU have agreed to work towards establishing a strategic partnership. While trade has always been the cornerstone of the relationship - ASEAN is the EU’s third largest trade partner - the EU’s ambition to expand its role as a global actor demand increased engagement. Both sides face common challenges that can only be addressed through joint responses that involve all stakeholders. To be strategic the partnership must embrace ...

Marking the 40th anniversary of the start of their dialogue ASEAN and the EU have agreed to work towards establishing a strategic partnership. While trade has always been the cornerstone of the relationship - ASEAN is the EU’s third largest trade partner - the EU’s ambition to expand its role as a global actor demand increased engagement. Both sides face common challenges that can only be addressed through joint responses that involve all stakeholders. To be strategic the partnership must embrace all aspects, from trade to energy, from climate change to security issues, from human rights to sustainable development. Deepening and enhancing relations between one of the most dynamic region in the world and the largest and most affluent market will bring important benefits to both European and ASEAN citizens. The last years have seen an increase in contacts but the many challenges faced today by the EU, internally and in its close neighbourhood, risk to require all attention and put the EU-ASEAN relations at risk. Finally the study argues that strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the relationship would, besides supporting representative democracy in Southeast Asia, contribute to maintaining the momentum launched in 2012.

Driving trade in the ASEAN region: Progress of FTA negotiations

14-12-2016

After negotiations between the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a regional free trade agreement (FTA) were suspended in 2009, the EU decided to pursue bilateral trade agreements with the individual ASEAN member states. To date, six of them have started talks on a bilateral FTA with the EU. Negotiations have already been concluded with two of these countries, Singapore and Vietnam, although those FTAs still await ratification. The EU's final objective is to have a region-to-region ...

After negotiations between the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a regional free trade agreement (FTA) were suspended in 2009, the EU decided to pursue bilateral trade agreements with the individual ASEAN member states. To date, six of them have started talks on a bilateral FTA with the EU. Negotiations have already been concluded with two of these countries, Singapore and Vietnam, although those FTAs still await ratification. The EU's final objective is to have a region-to-region agreement with ASEAN, based on the bilateral FTAs concluded with the ASEAN member states. Once the conditions required for this to happen are in place, the EU and its ASEAN partners will need to determine how to bring all these bilateral agreements under one regional FTA, with a view to including ASEAN member states with which the EU does not have bilateral agreements. It is in the EU's strategic interest to strengthen economic cooperation with ASEAN, and to maintain its competitive position in the Asia-Pacific region, given its economic importance, combined with the expanding intraregional trade and investment relations and the growing number of regional integration initiatives. Back in 2006, in its communication entitled 'Global Europe: Competing in the world', the European Commission identified ASEAN as a potential FTA partner that should be given priority based on key economic criteria. The Commission's new 2015 trade strategy, entitled 'Trade for all – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy', reaffirmed this objective.

One Belt, One Road (OBOR): China's regional integration initiative

07-07-2016

In 2013, China launched its 'One Belt, One Road' (OBOR) initiative. OBOR is China’s broadly sketched vision of how it plans to boost regional integration in its wider neighbourhood. The initiative is unprecedented in terms of China's financial engagement and the innovative network-based project design which is intended to contribute to a more inclusive global governance. It contrasts sharply with existing treaty-based integration concepts where the geographical scope, partner countries, strategy, ...

In 2013, China launched its 'One Belt, One Road' (OBOR) initiative. OBOR is China’s broadly sketched vision of how it plans to boost regional integration in its wider neighbourhood. The initiative is unprecedented in terms of China's financial engagement and the innovative network-based project design which is intended to contribute to a more inclusive global governance. It contrasts sharply with existing treaty-based integration concepts where the geographical scope, partner countries, strategy, principles and rules were clearly defined at the outset. China's new development vision has been seen as an alternative to regional trade agreements which do not include it; as a strategy for asserting its leadership role in Asia in response to the US pivot to Asia; as an economic outreach towards Asian countries for resolving territorial and maritime disputes by exporting China’s domestic development policies; as a means of tapping into new sources of growth to check the marked downturn in its economy; as a tool for tackling the socio-economic divide between its inland and coastal provinces; and finally, as a venue for addressing security challenges on its western periphery as well as energy security issues. The response to China's regional integration vision has been mixed. While the idea of enhancing connectivity has drawn considerable interest, given the huge infrastructure gaps across Asia, scepticism regarding China's potential hegemonic ambitions has prevailed notably among regional rivals India and Japan as well as the USA. Whether OBOR will be mutually beneficial for China and the EU will depend on the two sides agreeing on the 'rules of the game', including for joint projects in third countries. Potential synergies between OBOR and the EU connectivity initiatives are being explored under the EU-China Connectivity Platform.

Die Interparlamentarische Versammlung der ASEAN (AIPA): Ein bevorzugter Ansprechpartner des Europäischen Parlaments in Südostasien

20-08-2015

Zu den wichtigsten Zielen der Interparlamentarischen Versammlung der ASEAN (AIPA) gehört es, eine engere Zusammenarbeit der Parlamente der Mitgliedsstaaten der Vereinigung südostasiatischer Nationen (ASEAN) zu fördern und das Erreichen der Ziele der ASEAN zu unterstützen. Die AIPA ist nicht das Parlament der ASEAN: Sie verfügt über keine Gesetzgebungsbefugnisse, ihre Entschließungen sind nicht verbindlich und sie hat bezüglich des ASEAN-Haushalts kein Abstimmungsrecht. Trotzdem spielt die AIPA bei ...

Zu den wichtigsten Zielen der Interparlamentarischen Versammlung der ASEAN (AIPA) gehört es, eine engere Zusammenarbeit der Parlamente der Mitgliedsstaaten der Vereinigung südostasiatischer Nationen (ASEAN) zu fördern und das Erreichen der Ziele der ASEAN zu unterstützen. Die AIPA ist nicht das Parlament der ASEAN: Sie verfügt über keine Gesetzgebungsbefugnisse, ihre Entschließungen sind nicht verbindlich und sie hat bezüglich des ASEAN-Haushalts kein Abstimmungsrecht. Trotzdem spielt die AIPA bei der Entwicklung des politischen Umfelds in Südostasien eine wichtige Rolle, da die „ASEAN Economic Community“ (ASEANWirtschaftsgemeinschaft) bald in Kraft treten wird: Sie bietet ein parlamentarisches Forum, in dem die Mitglieder der nationalen Parlamente interagieren und Informationen über Fragen von gemeinsamem Interesse austauschen können. Die Teilnahme des Europäischen Parlaments an der Generalversammlung der AIPA bietet eine einzigartige Möglichkeit für den regionalen Dialog in Südostasien, sowohl mit den Mitgliedstaaten als auch mit den Beobachterstaaten der ASEAN.

The EU's Trade Policy: From Gender-Blind to Gender-Sensitive?

09-07-2015

The services of the European Commission are currently reflecting on the follow-up to the Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 (COM (2010) final). The EU's trade policy has not yet been fully integrated into this Strategy, providing an opportunity for the INTA committee to consider whether and how gender issues should be dealt with in the context of the EU's trade policies. Article 8 TFEU provides that “in all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote ...

The services of the European Commission are currently reflecting on the follow-up to the Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 (COM (2010) final). The EU's trade policy has not yet been fully integrated into this Strategy, providing an opportunity for the INTA committee to consider whether and how gender issues should be dealt with in the context of the EU's trade policies. Article 8 TFEU provides that “in all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality between men and women.” The trade policy issues that are discussed by the European Parliament's INTA committee can have differing gender impacts across the various sectors of the economy. Understanding the gender dimension of trade agreements better will therefore contribute to better policy making and to ensuring that both sexes can take advantage of the benefits of trade liberalisation and be protected from its negative effects.

China’s Foreign Policy and External Relations

07-07-2015

This study provides an overview of China’s current approach to foreign policy and external relations. It focuses more particularly on the role and actions of China in global governance, its territorial claims and relations with countries in Asia, and its emergence as an important actor in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood. It assesses the implications for the EU and makes recommendations on how the EU should deepen its strategic partnership with China. The study ...

This study provides an overview of China’s current approach to foreign policy and external relations. It focuses more particularly on the role and actions of China in global governance, its territorial claims and relations with countries in Asia, and its emergence as an important actor in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood. It assesses the implications for the EU and makes recommendations on how the EU should deepen its strategic partnership with China. The study argues that China has not made a unilateral and exclusive turn towards assertiveness in its foreign policy. China’s foreign policy assertiveness represents a policy choice that should be understood in the broader context of its external relations, which is one of uncertainty. Both the impact of China’s emergence in international affairs and the use China intends to make of its power and influence remain uncertain. This uncertainty is explained by the interdependence between a number of international and domestic factors as well as by the absence of a grand strategy. The uncertainty in China’s foreign policy opens avenues for the EU to influence China and further deepen the scope of the EU-China Strategic Partnership.

ASEAN: building an Economic Community

03-12-2014

In 2007 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) decided to move towards closer integration by establishing an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015 as one of its three pillars (the other two being the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities). What will this mean and to what extent will the AEC resemble the EU's Single Market?

In 2007 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) decided to move towards closer integration by establishing an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015 as one of its three pillars (the other two being the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities). What will this mean and to what extent will the AEC resemble the EU's Single Market?

ASEAN: building a Socio-Cultural Community

03-12-2014

In 2007 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched a Socio-Cultural Community as one of three pillars (the other two being the Economic and Political-Security Communities) comprising the ASEAN Community, to be completed by 2015. This represented a new departure for ASEAN, which in the past has cooperated mainly on security and economic matters. To date, however, progress on the Socio-Cultural Community has been limited.

In 2007 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched a Socio-Cultural Community as one of three pillars (the other two being the Economic and Political-Security Communities) comprising the ASEAN Community, to be completed by 2015. This represented a new departure for ASEAN, which in the past has cooperated mainly on security and economic matters. To date, however, progress on the Socio-Cultural Community has been limited.

ASEAN: building a Political-Security Community

02-12-2014

Since its inception in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been a key foreign policy and security player in the region. Like the EU, it has helped to bring stability to a formerly turbulent region. In an effort to put cooperation on a more structured basis, ASEAN's 2007 Charter establishes a Political-Security Community as one of the organisation's three pillars (the other two being the Economic and Socio-Cultural Communities).

Since its inception in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been a key foreign policy and security player in the region. Like the EU, it has helped to bring stability to a formerly turbulent region. In an effort to put cooperation on a more structured basis, ASEAN's 2007 Charter establishes a Political-Security Community as one of the organisation's three pillars (the other two being the Economic and Socio-Cultural Communities).

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