The United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was formally approved in Marrakesh on Monday, 10 December. Despite withdrawals from United States and several EU countries, over 160 countries met to ratify the pact. The Hungarian government is also lashing out at the European Parliament’s move three months ago to initiate scrutiny over the country’s democratic institutions. Poland was similarly stopped by the EU recently from forcing out Supreme Court judges. The EU has recently stepped up protection measures on privacy and the spreading of disinformation in anticipation of the European elections in May 2019. Four EU commissioners came forward with an action plan and advocate for an increase in the budget for fighting fake news. On Monday, 10 Dec, Theresa May delayed the Brexit voting, which was to take place on Tuesday and made a European tour, to seek reassurances from her EU counterparts on the backstop provision to avoid a hard border in Ireland. May’s decision to postpone the vote brought on a scene of chaos in the House of Commons and brought the value of the pound down. Click on the image to read more.
The Jean Monnet Network on Challenges to Multiculturalism and Multilateralism in Europe and Southeast Asia is a network comprising the EU Centre in Singapore, Universitas Indonesia, University of Malaya and Maastricht University. We intend to publish with an international publisher an edited volume to examine and engage with the recent debates about, and challenges towards, multiculturalism in Europe and Southeast Asia. A particular focus will be on the management of ethnic, religious and cultural diversities in the context of rising identity politics and the polarization of societies aided by social media. In order to discuss draft chapters and prepare a joint publication, contributors to the volume will also be invited to a Workshop to be held in Singapore on 14 and 15 June 2019. If you are interested in contributing to the edited volume and participating in the Workshop, please send the title of the paper and an abstract of 500 words to the convenors by 15 January 2019. Click on the image to read more.
Dr. Dufey began his talk by laying the context for the currency competition between the USA and China. He commented that the US tends to weaponize the role of the US dollar (USD) against its enemies as well as allies by restricting access to the international financial system based on the USD. No international bank can do business without having efficient access to the dollar. The issue of the international role of the three currencies—USD, the Euro, and Renminbi (RMB)—have become more complicated with the rise of China. Click on the image to read more.
Dr. Ben Wellings began his lecture by noting that contrary to the popular notion that Brexit was a popular revolt by those left behind from globalization, Brexit was an elite-led contingent project built on the idea of the Anglosphere, combined with popular grievances. Click on the image to read more.
On 4-5 October 2018, the EU Centre in Singapore and LeidenAsiaCentre co-organised the conference “Engaging a Global China: EU’s and ASEAN’s Perspectives and Responses”. This conference offered a multifaceted look into the challenges and opportunities of engaging a global China. The papers presented at this conference examined how different EU and ASEAN member states relate to China not only in the economic sphere but also in the political and security arena. Click on the image to read more.
The 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit took place in Brussels on 18-19 October. Coming at a time of rising trade tensions between the US and China, Trump’s unilateralism and the overall stress on the rules-based global order, it was not surprising that Asian and European leaders would use this summit to reaffirm their support for multilateralism and international cooperation. With the trade confrontation with the US in the background, the biennial ASEM Summit was widely celebrated among Chinese newspapers and scholars as an opportunity to push back against Trump and his policies. The EU High Representative Federica Mogherini was quick to dismiss the idea that the ASEM summit was an anti-Trump meeting. However, several European papers clearly made the point that the leaders should use the ASEM summit to send a strong signal to Trump that Asia and Europe are against protectionism and will continue to keep their economies open and support the rule-based global trading regime. Singapore and EU-Vietnam trade agreements were hailed as examples of positive approach to trade to create win-win solutions. Several European countries also took the opportunity to stress that Europe’s desire to build a united front with Asia could be tempered by grave concerns about human rights issues in several Asian countries.To read the special News and Views on the 12th ASEM summit, please click on the image.