This background brief explores the prospect of a stronger European Union’s (EU) economic and political leverage in the Asia Pacific region through the analysis of EU-Japan relations. The paper delves into the main drivers and implications of the two bilateral treaties recently concluded between the EU and Japan, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). The political environment that surrounded the agreements is deeply marked by crisis and uncertainty. However, this paper develops the view that increased bilateral cooperation between the EU and Japan offers opportunities for the EU to boost its presence in Asia as well as increases both parties’ ability to face new challenges and adapt to a fast-changing international system. Click on the image to read more.
As tensions between the EU and the US heightened with President Trump calling the EU “a foe of the US”, the EU is starting to push back by building its own web of free trade agreements and reaffirming the importance of free and open trade. At the EU-Japan summit on 17 July, the largest ever trade deal negotiated by the EU with Japan was signed. The EU is also pushing back against anti-competitive behavior by tech giants, and Google has been slapped for the 2nd time a hefty fine for abusing its dominant position to limit competition in search engines and browsers in the sector of mobile internet. The fine announced on Wed (18 July) after three years of investigation came not long after Google was fined €2.4 billion in 2017 for manipulating search results. All is also not well with the Brexit negotiations between the EU and UK. The European Commission issued on Thursday (19 July) a Communication warning of the possible repercussions that Brexit might have for businesses and citizens. Click on the image to read more.
You are cordially invited to a Panel Discussion on “European Security Strategy at a Crossroad: A stronger Europe in a fragile world?” and Launch of Book on “EU Security Strategies”, edited by Spyros Economides and James Sperling. The event will be held on Wednesday, 1 August 2018 (3pm – 5pm) at NTU @ one-north, SR901 (Level 9). Click on the image to read more.
The July 2018 issue of the quarterly newsletter, Scene@CMM is out. The highlight of this issue features the 2 weeks Summer Programme in Brussels and Jakarta. We have a total of 27 participants from various Southeast Asian and European universities joining us at the 2018 Summer Programme. The Summer Programme, commencing in less than a week time, will hopefully be an enriching and rewarding experience for all the participants. Click on the image to read more about our events, news, and happenings.
For some time now, the commentaries, op-eds and analyses in the liberal press have suggested a US retrenchment and withdrawal from the “liberal world order” under the Trump administration. Indeed, what the US has been doing under Trump is neither liberal nor orderly, but it is also not a retrenchment from the world. What Trump is really trying to do is to reassert US primacy in the world through brute force - through verbal insults, through its financial and market power, and if necessary military might. Trump is giving substance to its America First policy not by making the US more competitive and unbeatable but by browbeating others into retreat. The US is not in retreat. Instead Trump is trying to make “Pax Americana” in his own image. Realising that America is not exactly in the sweetest spot, and that others are fast catching up or even ahead, the only way Trump feels America could win is that others lose. So, he is on a war of attrition wearing down others with his constant tweets and threats, and using divisive tactics to undermine multilateral institutions and coalitions that stand in his way. Click on the image to read more.
On 8 June (Fri), Mr. Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia-Pacific at the European External Action Service (EEAS), discussed his views on the rise of EU-Asia Relations in today’s global context. The talk, hosted by the EU Delegation to Singapore, was moderated by Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of the S Rajaratnam School of Intenational Studies (RSIS), and former Secretary-General of ASEAN. Click on the image to read more.