After the ECJ’s ruled on the “mixity” of the EUSFTA in May, hopes are high for Singapore to benefit from freer access to Europe and for the deal to serve as a template for a region-to-region EU-ASEAN FTA. Yet, many worry that European-style product-specific rules of origin would be problematic for Singapore which thrives on foreign inputs and for ASEAN countries with weak institutional capacities to administer the agreement. Is there any truth to these concerns? Click on the image to read more.
After almost a decade since the great financial crisis hit the European Union (EU), leading to a spiral of events that dented the confidence of the EU, things maybe looking a little brighter. Economic recovery is finally gaining strength and European businesses surveyed by McKinsey Global Institute expect the EU to grow by 2% over the next five years. Chinese and American companies are even more upbeat than their European counterparts on the growth trajectory of the EU expecting GDP to grow between 2.3% to 3%. Click on the image to read more.
On 16 May 2017, the Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union, ruled that the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) is a mixed agreement and would therefore require ratifications not only by EU institutions but also by the national and regional parliaments of EU member states. This final ruling in itself is not a surprise since last December, a non-binding opinion delivered by the Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston indicated that the EUSFTA can only be concluded by the EU and Member states acting jointly. What is perhaps surprising is that contrary to the opinion, the final court ruling only sets out two investments issues over which there is shared competence between the EU and its member states and hence would require approval by the parliaments of the member states. Click on the image to read more about the commentary.
The EU released a White Paper last week delineating five possible future scenarios of European integration. The Big Four – Germany, France, Italy and Spain – of the EU27 announced on Monday that they endorse the vision of a multi-speed Europe. While the proposal may be supported by some other Western EU member states, several former Eastern bloc members, in particular the Visegrad Group opposed the idea as they believed the proposal risks splitting the EU. Click on the image to read more.
2016 was a tough year for the EU. The greatest shock was the Brexit vote in June. Other crises included the EU’s relations with Russia, the migrant / refugee crisis and terrorism. All these challenges fed into rising discontent leading to increased support for populist, xenophobic and nationalistic parties and backlash against globalisation. What will 2017 look like for the EU? This year-end commentary by Dr Yeo Lay Hwee provides different scenarios and end with a cautiously optimistic note on the resilience of the EU.
Dr Yeo Lay Hwee, Director of EU Centre, contributed a short commentary on “Why the EU matters to ASEAN” to the Special August Issue of ASEAN Focus, published by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. Please click on the feature image to read the commentary.
On 23 June, the British people chose to leave the EU. To know more about the immediate repercussions and potential implications of this Brexit vote, please click on the feature image to read EU Centre Director Dr Yeo Lay Hwee’s latest commentary.
A Special Report on “Changing Waters: Towards a new EU Asia Strategy” has just been published by LSE. EU Centre Director, Dr Yeo Lay Hwee and the Centre’s Associate, Dr Reuben Wong contributed articles to this Report. Please click on the feature image for the LSE Special Report.
Dr Yeo Lay Hwee, Director of the EU Centre in Singapore has recently written a short opinion piece on what the EU should be mindful of in crafting its new Global Strategy. Please click the feature image for the article.
In Europe, the debate over China’s market economy status (MES) at the WTO is heating up and the European Commission is expected to issue a verdict in the second half of 2016. This latest EU Centre Commentary argues that extending MES to China on time boosts EU values as well as interests. To read this commentary, please click on the featured image.