On Thursday, June 4 at 04.00 pm WIB, the @america Center at the Pacific Place Mall, Jakarta, will be host to a videoconference discussion on: “What Can The ASEAN Learn From Our EU Friends?”

Organized by the Bakrie Center Foundation and the US Embassy @america Center, the discussion will bring together Indonesian Experts, Senior Diplomats, and experts from RSIS Singapore. Policymakers, analysts, university students and faculty, and representatives of embassies and international organizations will find the discussion particularly useful. Members of the public and the press are cordially welcome.

 

Background

How is the unification process of industrialized, advanced nations such as Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, and France with developing countries like Cyprus, Estonia, Croatia Hungary, etc.?

 

In the course of establishing into a solid regional integration, the European Union is still confronted with the problem of the gap between countries with one another. Among the EU member states, a group of industrialized countries / developed countries (such as Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, UK, Austria) referred to as the core countries, while the developing countries are identified as periphery (marginal) countries.

 

One of the main goals of EU integration is to reduce the economic gap between its member countries. In an effort to lessen the disparity within the economic development of member nations, the European Union has initiated a wide range of programs, such as The Common Agricultural Policy, Structural Fund Programs, The European Development Fund Program, and various other economic assistance aimed at helping crisis-affected nations, to improve its economic state.

 

Unifying efforts in EU countries by way of equitable economic developments, is being accomplished with the assumption that if one country experiences some sort of an economic downfall, it will methodically affect the other members as well.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the EU single currency system from the time of its implementation until today?

 

The single currency system, if seen and studied based on non-economic analysis, can be the main objective to ease and smoothen of transactions between countries in the region, as well as among the regional member countries with other nations outside the region.

 

As we know of the social capital theory, a condition in which resources inherent in social relations facilitate collective action. The general public share a common value and understanding, thus the creation of trust among each other. Social capital can be reflected in the single currency system, in which the stakeholders involved can have confidence in the currency, because the single currency reflects the same perception to a certain applicable value adopted among the players.

 

The exchange is not merely buying and selling goods and services, but also the exchange of information, education, and various other social values. With similar exchange rate, business transactions and trading will transpire more robustly than before. However, unfortunately it has to be supported by the economic performance of each country.

 

The ASEAN economy as a region continues to improve and stabilize, but only Singapore followed by Malaysia can claim the statures of developed countries. In contrast to the EU, the number of the advanced nations are more than those which are in the category of developing countries. So that the economic disparity between countries can be recuperated by the developed countries. Emerging countries can simply go along and gain prosperity of the currency system. Greece for example, as a developing country which enjoys the presence of the euro currency. According to a Bloomberg survey, 3 out of 5 Greeks have one luxury cars (Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati). But it proves true that the Greek endured a great systematic crisis in 2008, as a result to the adjustment to the Euro currency which was indulgent to its people, but have a negative impact on the macro economy.

 

Imagine the majority of ASEAN countries which are not ready to be in a modified currency, it will surely launch severe economic crises everywhere. Because there are simply more under-developed countries in ASEAN than in the EU.

 

Would it be beneficial for ASEAN to emulate the policies of the ASEAN visa (Schengen) as applicable in the EU Countries; what benefits can be gained from a single visa system?

 

Single visa is said to be one of the important factors driving economic growth in the tourism sector. This system, applicable within a regional area allows tourists to travel freely to neighboring member countries, simply by using one visa. This will facilitate the movement of tourists, and will captivate the increase in the number of tourists visiting the member countries. Single visa will create cost savings, time and process efficiencies for tourists to travel to countries of the region. لعبة بوكر

 

Learning from the EU, the single visa policy is intended to increase tourism numbers member countries, and in that respect – the increase of tourism will in turn stimulate the international trade increase. Additionally, integration between the people from the member states can also be expected to improve significantly.

 

Although realistically perhaps the ASEAN is still far from creating the single currency, ideally the ASEAN region could follow the lead of the EU in creating a single visa system. With the potential of the abundantly rich natural and cultural attractions ASEAN countries can offer, this policy is predicted to increase the tourism level to ASEAN countries by at least 5% to 25% every three years. The effect of this policy when applied, will be even greater – depending on the attractiveness of a member country’s tourism destination. With most ASEAN countries having great prospects of major tourist attractions, a single visa policy is projected to provide a significantly positive economic impact for the ASEAN countries.

 

What are the EU’s views on the ASEAN to resolve problems that occur between ASEAN countries and other nations outside the ASEAN region? (i.e. Philippine and Vietnam with China on the South China Sea crisis)?

 

Geographically and geostrategically, ASEAN is adjacent to the superpower that is the People’s Republic of China. While the EU itself is also bordered by the superpower that is Russia. The South China Seas in addition to its strategic location, allegedly also hold a bountiful of natural resources potential. Historically speaking, areas that yield natural resources are particularly vulnerable to be involved in an armed conflict.

 

The EU was not immune from conflicts with Russia, even more likely to escalate to an armed conflict. Ukraine as a country with the largest underground gas pipeline to supply the EU, passes an area that is highly susceptible to a regional conflict.

 

Whereas Ukraine and Russia are not divided by an ocean, China and ASEAN are vastly vulnerable to sea border conflicts. The differences and similarity of this predicament would be an interesting topic to be discussed between the EU and ASEAN. How to deal with neighboring superpower countries, in the context of ideology (Russia-China Communism), economic performance, as well as military prowess. قانون البوكر It will be correlated to the EU defense pact through NATO, which is an effort to balance the disparity of military power with a superpower nation.

 

For ASEAN, in contrast with the EU – The Chinese tendency for military interference can be said to be a far-fetched possibility. The establishment of an ASEAN defense pact would not be sanctioned by countries such as Australia and its allies, the US and the UK. كيف تفوز بالروليت The presence of a defense pact would even be considered to threaten access to US military bases in Darwin and the Indian Ocean. ASEAN consists mostly of non-aligned developing countries, not favoring to the West or the East. Additionally, it is not an easy task to integrate ASEAN military policy, since its members are mutually committed not to interfere with the issue of state sovereignty of other ASEAN countries.

 

On the other hand, given that ASEAN is strategically located in a world trade lanes, has abundant natural and marine resources, its border regions are prone to threats by countries outside the region. Therefore, deeper integration between the ASEAN countries related to the defense sector is something that certainly needs to be addressed.

 

Participants

This discussion will be moderated by Mr. Endi Bayuni, Jakarta Post Senior Editor,

 

The Expert Panelists will be:

  • Prof. Ibrahim Yusuf, Executive Director of Indonesia Council on World Affairs (ICWA)
  • Ms. Vanessa Guest, US Embassy Jakarta
  • Ms. Elaine Tan, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation
  • Mr. Andreas List, Senior Coordinator of Delegation of the European Union to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and ASEAN
  • Ambassador Barry Desker, Bakrie Chair of Professorship – Formerly Dean of RSIS, NTU Singapore