EU’s policy development towards ASEAN from 2001 to 2009: engaging with their dynamic relationship
Pakpahan, Beginda Anwar Teguh
The existing analyses in the literature of inter-regionalism focus on a macro perspective when they look at the relationship between inter-regional ties and global governance. They have not explored the European Union’s (EU) policy development toward the Association of South-East Asia Nations (ASEAN) in detail which affects the EU and ASEAN relationship. They have overlooked explanations and current empirical evidence regarding that relationship. This thesis analyses internal factors within the EU and external factors from ASEAN and outside of the EU which influence EU policies toward ASEAN. The internal factors are the relevant actors within the various institutional arrangements of the EU policy and the promotion of interests of the EU and those of its member states and to some extent of common EU values. The modes of engagement between the EU and ASEAN, the level of integration within ASEAN and the pressures and opportunities from ASEAN and outside the EU are the external factors. Then, this thesis assesses how, when and to what extent these factors influence the EU’s policy developments toward ASEAN and have implications for the inter-regional relationship between the two regions. I examine three EU policies toward ASEAN from 2001 to 2009:1) a new partnership with South-East Asia, 2) the joint EUASEAN monitoring mission in Aceh, and 3) an ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA).This thesis is based on a qualitative method of analysis and is part of problem-driven research. It employs inductive theory building from case studies as the research strategy and documents and interviews as methods of data collection. This thesis presents the variation in importance within factors which influence the EU’s policy development toward ASEAN. It highlights different kinds of interactions between factors which shape the success or failure of the EU’s policy development. The co-operative relationship between these factors is needed to conclude agreement between the two regions. However, the conflicting relationship between these factors can lead to the failure to reach agreement between them. With regard to internal factors, this thesis demonstrates that a shared common position between relevant and other related actors within each of the various institutional arrangements in the EU may assist in the conclusion of an agreement between the two regions. As EU interests takes precedence over values, the likelihood of achieving an agreement increases. With regard to external factors, this thesis argues that consultation and monitoring mechanisms have been used by the EU as its modes of engagement (as opposed to a negotiation) and they affect its policy development and enable it to reach an agreement with ASEAN. The conclusion of an agreement between the two regions can be easily achieved, when the level of integration within ASEAN remains static or weak. However, when the level of integration within ASEAN is stronger, the EU would be less likely to achieve its expected agreements with ASEAN. The conclusion of an agreement between the EU and ASEAN can be achieved when they can resolve these external pressures and take advantage of external opportunities. The trends in and implications for the EU and ASEAN relationship are as follows: first, the more the EU applies a balanced treatment of internal and external factors, then the more it will support the EU’s policy development and that will positively influence the EU and ASEAN relationship. Second, their relationship has been shifted from a hierarchical ex-colonial dynamic to a mutually interdependent partnership.