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Challenges for Parliamentary Diplomacy in South and South-East Asia and Europe: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Challenges for Parliamentary Diplomacy in South and South-East Asia and Europe: A Practitioner’s... The European Union is committed to consolidating and supporting democracy worldwide but, despite the increasing interdependence between Asia and Europe, the parliamentary dimension of their relationship remains largely absent. This article reviews the steps taken by the European Parliament to develop and strengthen eu –Asia relations, takes stock of the rare initiatives that have been launched in South and South-East Asia at the regional level, and seeks to explore the reasons why parliamentary diplomacy has not yet taken root. To these ends, the article analyses the respective roles of the executive and legislative branches of government and the current shortcomings in democratic governance in South and South-East Asia. It also discusses the lack of political will on the European side. In conclusion, the article argues that, despite those difficulties, timely and carefully planned development of parliamentary links between Asia and Europe could advance representative democracy in South and South-East Asia. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Hague Journal of Diplomacy Brill

Challenges for Parliamentary Diplomacy in South and South-East Asia and Europe: A Practitioner’s Perspective

The Hague Journal of Diplomacy , Volume 11 (2-3): 311 – Mar 11, 2016

Challenges for Parliamentary Diplomacy in South and South-East Asia and Europe: A Practitioner’s Perspective


Introduction In the last 25 years, Asia emerged as the world’s fastest growing region. The continent accounts for more than half of the world’s population and one-quarter of the economic wealth generated every year. Actors such as China and India are transforming the world’s geopolitical landscape at a rapid pace. This ‘economic miracle’ took place despite huge challenges, ranging from abject poverty to ongoing conflicts, human rights violations, natural disasters and rising inequalities. At the centre of the East Asian regional architecture, the Association of South-East Asian Nations ( asean ) is progressing towards an economic community by the end of 2015 and has ambitions to become a pivotal player in the region. Its integration process faces serious hurdles, however, because its member states — with wide demographic disparities, different levels of economic development and divergent political systems — are rather heterogeneous. The interdependence between Europe and Asia has reached very significant levels and is becoming critical for the future growth, prosperity and security prospects of both sides. Asia has become the main trading partner of the European Union ( eu ), accounting for one-third of the eu ’s total trade. More than 26 per cent of eu outward investment goes to Asia. By the end of 2012, euro-denominated assets accounted for around 25 per cent of the holdings of Asia’s major economies. 1 Yet the partnership must develop beyond trade. Today’s threats have no borders and, in the twenty-first century, no solution can be found to any global challenge without the support of the Asian nations. The eu and the Asian countries can be allies and must work together to achieve common goals. Governments and regional institutions are actively trying to strengthen relations further, but foreign policy is no longer within the exclusive remit of diplomats. There are many more active forces at work in...
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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1871-1901
eISSN
1871-191X
DOI
10.1163/1871191X-12341340
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The European Union is committed to consolidating and supporting democracy worldwide but, despite the increasing interdependence between Asia and Europe, the parliamentary dimension of their relationship remains largely absent. This article reviews the steps taken by the European Parliament to develop and strengthen eu –Asia relations, takes stock of the rare initiatives that have been launched in South and South-East Asia at the regional level, and seeks to explore the reasons why parliamentary diplomacy has not yet taken root. To these ends, the article analyses the respective roles of the executive and legislative branches of government and the current shortcomings in democratic governance in South and South-East Asia. It also discusses the lack of political will on the European side. In conclusion, the article argues that, despite those difficulties, timely and carefully planned development of parliamentary links between Asia and Europe could advance representative democracy in South and South-East Asia.

Journal

The Hague Journal of DiplomacyBrill

Published: Mar 11, 2016

Keywords: democracy; parliamentary diplomacy; Association of South-East Asian Nations ( asean ); European Union ( eu ); European Parliament ( ep

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