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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.

ASEAN and the EU: Time to Develop the Parliamentary Dimension of the Relationship

30-06-2015

The EU is committed by Treaty to consolidate and support democracy worldwide. Parliamentary democracy is fundamental to achieve legitimacy and accountability. Moreover exchanges between parliaments enhance their role within each country and contribute to the spread of democratic values. The EU is also a staunch supporter of regional integration as a means of fostering regional stability, supporting economic growth and addressing global challenges. However, despite Asia being the world’s most dynamic ...

The EU is committed by Treaty to consolidate and support democracy worldwide. Parliamentary democracy is fundamental to achieve legitimacy and accountability. Moreover exchanges between parliaments enhance their role within each country and contribute to the spread of democratic values. The EU is also a staunch supporter of regional integration as a means of fostering regional stability, supporting economic growth and addressing global challenges. However, despite Asia being the world’s most dynamic region and a growing interdependence between Asia and Europe, the parliamentary dimension of the Asia-Europe relationship remains weak: Asia remains the only continent where the EP has yet to establish a region-to-region joint parliamentary assembly. The scale, complexity and diversity of Asia – which accounts for more than half of the world’s population – may explain this situation. This study first reviews the steps taken by the European Parliament to develop and strengthen relations and takes stock of the rare initiatives that were launched at the different regional levels. It then suggests that parliamentary diplomacy has not taken root yet in most Asian countries and explores the reasons for that situation, among which the respective roles of the executive and legislative branches of government. The current shortcomings in democratic governance in Asia and the lack of political support and commitment on the European side are also identified. In conclusion it argues that despite obvious difficulties there is room to advance representative democracy in Asia. As first step deeper engagement with ASEAN should be pursued and an EP-AIPA structured partnership that would support parliament’s democratic objectives established.

China's New Leadership

04-12-2012

China has made considerable efforts to lift people out of poverty. Unbalanced and unsustainable development, social problems and corruption remain, however, serious challenges. The two main fractions, 'Tuanpai' and the 'Shanghai group', are jostling for key positions. The new Communist Party Secretary-General, and future President, Mr.XI Jinping, is a princeling whose political beliefs remain largely unknown. The second-in-line and future Prime Minister, Mr. LI Keqiang, is from the Tuanpai faction ...

China has made considerable efforts to lift people out of poverty. Unbalanced and unsustainable development, social problems and corruption remain, however, serious challenges. The two main fractions, 'Tuanpai' and the 'Shanghai group', are jostling for key positions. The new Communist Party Secretary-General, and future President, Mr.XI Jinping, is a princeling whose political beliefs remain largely unknown. The second-in-line and future Prime Minister, Mr. LI Keqiang, is from the Tuanpai faction. Three leading contenders, all reformers, did not make the cut. The balance of power between conservatives and reformers remain unclear. The new leaders will have to carry out economic and social reforms. The once-in-a-decade leadership reshuffle is unlikely to open the door for political reforms. Beijing's increasingly assertive foreign and security policy will continue. Major personnel changes will take place again in 2007.

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