Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave an annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament on 12 September, focusing on issues that continued to divide the EU – migration and the issue of sovereignty. On 12 September, the European Parliament also passed a motion based on the Sargentini report (448 for, 197 against, 48 abstentions) which declared that Hungary is at risk of “breaching the EU’s core values”. Over the weekend, former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, in the latest of a series of criticisms against the government’s Brexit approach, likened Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers Plan to a “suicide vest” which would make Britain a “vassal state”. Click on the image to read more.
The EU Centre would like to bring your attention to the annual higher education fair organised by the European Union Delegation to Singapore to promote the many tertiary, higher education and research opportunities across Europe. Click on the image to read more.
We are familiar with the numbers of Syrian refugees flooding into Europe – over a million displaced Syrians have migrated to Europe since the crisis began in 2015. The statistic we are unfamiliar with, however, is the growing number of Syrian refugees heading home from Europe. In 2017, 66,000 refugees returned to Syria from abroad, mostly from neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey. The number of refugees returning from Europe is currently only a fraction of that number, but as the dust settles in Syria and refugees continue to face hostility in host countries, the number returning from Europe is set to rise. It is unclear just how many refugees are leaving Europe, mainly because most of them utilise illegal pathways to get home. However, research conducted since last year has revealed the phenomenon of “reverse migration”. Click on the image to read more.
On 23 Aug 2018, the European Union (EU) Centre in Singapore, National University of Singapore and Université Sorbonne Nouvelle co-organised a panel discussion on “Trade in a Multipolar World”. The panel comprised Dr. Razeen Sally from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Dr. Henry Gao from the Singapore Management University, Dr. Louise Dalingwater and Dr. Jean-Baptiste Velut from Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. The discussion was moderated by Head of Department of Political Science, NUS, Dr. Kim Soo Yeon. Click on the image to read more.
In her first public lecture in Singapore, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini asserted that the EU is a steadfast “global actor”. Yet, she did not mention any grand EU strategy in the Asia/Indo-Pacific region, in response to America’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, the Chinese Belt and Road initiative and Japan-India Asia-Africa Growth Corridor. To assert its “global actorness”, we argue that the EU should pursue a three-pronged global trade diplomacy to lead the reform of the WTO, forge high standard FTAs with partners around the world, and increase public acceptance of free trade at home. Click on the image to read more.
Dr Yeo Lay Hwee argued in her short op-ed for BRINK Asia that the European Union (EU) and Japan are taking steps to defend the rules-based international trading regime. Both have made significant concessions in fast tracking the conclusion and signing of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in order to send a strong signal that both the EU and Japan remain open to free trade. Click on the image to read more.