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ROAD TO ROAD TO INTEGRATION

ROAD TO ROAD TO INTEGRATION

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASIA AND EUROPE IN TERMS OF INTEGRATION AND COOPERATION

 

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

 

ABSTRACT

With the increasing growth of regional organisations, integration is becoming prominent in different regions. However, detailed comparative analyses lack in the field.

The primary objective of this dissertation is to discuss and do a comparative research of two regional organisations; The Association of Southeast Asian Union and the European Union. Perceived as a model for integration, European Union is the most developed project regarding integration in the world. On the other hand, ASEAN is seen to be the most viable organisation on that part of the globe. While at face these two regions seem to have no similar features, there is much evidence that ASEAN might be emulating the European Union experience.

This study will first look at the key issues in Asia including; security, trade policy, foreign policy, international relations and trade and comparing them with the European Union to see the similarities that both have. To answer the research question, the research will examine the trade relations in the European Union and ASEAN as being the possible causes for Southeast Asia developments. 

From the study, there are two findings made. The first one is that there are similarities in the European Union and ASEAN designs. Though it is not indicated that the ASEAN are emulating the European Union, support for the claim that the ASEAN looks at the European Union is provided. Secondly, the strongest factors linking the European Union and the ASEAN are found to be trade and economic relations.

KEY WORDS: Regionalism, ASEAN, European Union, Integration, Cooperation, Institutions

 

Contents

 

CHAPTER ONE 5

INTRODUCTION 5

BACKGROUND INFORMATION 5

Problem Statement 10

Research Objectives 10

Research Question 11

Significance of the Study 11

CHAPTER TWO 12

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW 12

2.1 INTRODUCTION 12

2.2 Economic Integration 12

2.3 European Integration: Peace and Reconciliation 13

2.4 Asia: Integration with no institutionalization 14

2.5 Pragmatism in Asian integration 16

2.6 Need for regional integration in Asia 17

2.7 Comparison of EU-ASEAN Institutions 19

2.8 Regional Policies 20

CHAPTER THREE 22

METHODOLOGY 22

INTRODUCTION 22

CHAPTER FOUR 24

DISCUSSION 24

Regionalism 24

Integration 25

Cooperation 26

Trade policy 27

Security 30

Foreign Policy 31

Comparative Regionalisation Framework 33

Comparison of Regionalism in Asia and European Union 34

Patterns of Regional Integration 39

Geographical and Historical Contexts 41

Economic Linkages between EU and ASEAN 42

Maximising Benefits: EU and ASEAN 45

CHAPTER FIVE 48

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 48

CONCLUSION 48

RECOMMENDATIONS 49

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

After World War 2, the establishment of European Union was one of the world’s largest and successful regional integration projects done. It is the highly evolved regional integration example and acts as a model to Asia and other regions (Yeo, 2010). In Asia, interest in region-building began after the regionalization driven by market forces, and the concept of new regionalism emerged in the 1980s.Financial year 1997/1998 in Asia demonstrated to the policymakers the scope of interdependence, which led to efforts for formal regional- building. 

Efforts to understand the rise of the East Asia regionalism have been accelerated by three factors; increasing world globalisation, Asian financial crisis of 1997, end of cold world war and dissolution of Soviet Union. After the end of cold world war and the dismantle of the Soviet Union, the East Asia regional order that was left in the cold war era no longer existed. Foreign policies and foundations of the pre-existing regional order of all the states were destroyed at the end of the cold world war. To maintain regional stability and to serve countries, interests, the policy-makers and regional countries have to pursue new policies.

The rise of NAFTA (North America Free Trade Area) and the expansion of the European Union and other regional organisations have pressurised the East Asians to have closer relations. Efforts by the United States to expand NAFTA and the continuous enlargement of the European Union have intensified the pressure to the East Asia. Negotiations by the World Trade Organizations have insisted on the need for strong East Asians voices.

The 1997 Asian financial crises also caused the low growth of East Asia regionalism. All the governments in Asia were affected directly and increased the politics of resentments. No practical help was provided by ASEAN and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) to deal with the crises, while the United States and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) worsened the situation.

Distinguishing between regional integration to regional cooperation is important. Regional cooperation defines the policy measures that are undertaken jointly by countries located within a geographical area, who come together with the aim of achieving a welfare, which would not be achieved when done unilaterally. Regional integration is the integration of economies located within a geographical area (Lamberte, 2005). Regional integration may be policy-induced integration, which results from regional cooperation, or market-driven integration, where there is no agreement or coordinated activities by the nations in the region to integrate their economy. For a full integration to occur financial markets are unified among nations, and there is a free flow of goods, services, factors of production among the countries in the region. 

Regionalism and Regionalization are the other important terms to understand in this topic. Regionalization refers to a market-driven integration stimulated by individual economies’ unilateral reforms in a region. For instance, in trade and investment, a combination of a regime with other factors such as cultural, social and geographical factors can stimulate multinational enterprises to initiate a factory for the production of finished goods in different countries within a region. This combination promotes regional production networks characterised by integration, interdependence and increased international specialisation (Lamberte, 2005). Regionalism refers to the formal economic arrangements and economic cooperation consisting of a group of countries aiming at enhancing and facilitating regional integration. An example to explain this is when a group of countries joins a Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) to promote economic integration. 

Regional Trading Arrangements have multiplied since 2000 among the East Asian countries. In 1992, the ASEAN Free Trade Area was announced and implemented in the 1990’s and the adoption of ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint was in 2003.After 2000, China led in the Asian Regionalism in concluding RTA in ASEAN. Japan encouraged a wider grouping of East Asia Summit, which was; New Zealand, Australia, and India. Lack of significant policy- driven regional integration was the striking characteristic of international economic relations. In 1960’s the Association of South East Asian Nations was the only regional agreement. Regional Trading Arrangements were developed in America, and Africa and European Customs Union established (Amineh, M. P., and ebrary, Inc. (2010). Regionalism in Asia changed after 1997 and Asia created ASEAN Economic Community over free trade area target.

South East Asian Nations Association has driven the rate of regionalism so that it can broaden cooperation and get international equivalence in connection to other regions. China’s internal development is a factor that is influencing the development of East Asia region. China is congregated into regional markets and systems after successful economic developmental progress. East Asia regional progress and development has transformed the ‘new regionalism’ nature. This region has put effort to under complex open regionalism, which allows the countries in the region to benefit from the global economic development.

Regional cooperation has been discussed in the East Asia as a means to promote stability, peace development and reconstruction for traditional and newly independent states in the region. Regionalism is prevailing in East Asia and involves regionalization, cooperation, and integration. Regional cooperation describes the East Asian regionalism because it has developed as a process and cooperation between states and other regional actors without any authorised assurance (Liu, 2015). Regional integration refers to two or more states joining and becoming a new entity with one political community. It refers to the institutional and legal relationship where economic transactions take place. Originally, regionalisation was used in accounting for industrial cooperation and economic interactions among regional economies, which were integrated into typical developments and promote conditions for economic policy.

Europe is the most integrated and has state-resembling cooperation. It was the first to be started in early 1950, ‘ and its supranational structure requires member states to conform to the requirements. Europe is seen as a model for integration, whereby others should follow. The resemblance of ASEAN and the EU can be noted in some aspects. ASEAN developed years after the EU, and its growth has been slower making it be far behind the EU. With the significance of interstate cooperation and regionalism, ASEAN direction is in questions and doubt.

Questions about ASEAN future can be answered partially by looking at the organisation. ASEAN for many years was proud of the ASEAN way of integration that was based on consensus, lack of norms to bid them and informal cooperation (Acharya, 2013).  Research shows that ASEAN are trying to emulate Europe and by so doing, the ASEAN follows the EU; many possible benefits will be enhanced.

Economic integration has been used to refer to the formal cooperation of states and transformation of free trade area to a common market, customs union, monetary union and total economic integration.

  • Free trade area involves elimination of trade restrictions
  • Monetary union is the use of single currency or having fixed exchange rate and harmonisation of economic policies.
  • Custom union involves having common external trade policy towards the nonmember countries.
  • Political union refers to having joint political institutions.
  • The common market involves the free movement of products and services among the member states.

In the 1980s and 1990s, regional projects emerged; in North America, there was the creation of (North America Free Trade Agreement) NAFTA. MERCOSUR  (Southern Cone Common Market). In 1989 and 1990, there was the creation of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), and following apartheid, SADC (Southern African Development Community) became a renewal point (Defraigne, Dieter, Higgott, & Lamy, 2006). In the 1980s, European’s common market program boosted political and economic integration in Western Europe and this continued with the majority of the states achieving monetary integration in the late 1990s.With globalisation becoming increasingly contested, regions, regionalisation, and regionalism have become important.

Since ASEAN was formed in 1967, South East Asia regional integration has experienced significant progress. Peace and stability were the key objectives for its creation after the experience of military threats in the cold world war (Murray, 2010) and the main aims included cultural development, acceleration of social progress and economic growth. Managing intra-religion conflicts were and remain its political imperative. ASEAN has a strong commitment to multilateralism and is characterised by its respect for sovereignty. ASEAN has enhanced peace and stability in the organisation, and its members have agreed to confront challenges for instance; terrorism, development, trade liberalisation, poverty reduction, response to natural disasters and pandemics.

Acharya (2009) describes regionalism as a risk to autonomy and sovereignty of the region. The author discusses that norms include behavioural rules and have more than the moral norms. The ASEAN way involves; the principle of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, standards of behaviour and interactions, practice of consultation and consensus, peaceful resolutions of conflicts, and avoidance of confrontation. 

 

Problem Statement

 

This paper aims to explain regionalism in Asia using Europe as the comparison tool. Europe is more integrated than Asia making it be a model for Asia. National authorities’ cooperation in Asia is less intimate and recent, and integration is driven more by markets than the government. The Asians are also more focussed on the economic issues, and they remain light on the institutional issues.

Strategies to regionalism in Asia has been dictated by history, and the countries are less inclined to undermine independence through combining jurisdiction with other neighbouring countries because many Asian countries need to build their identities because they have just emerged from colonialism recently. There are also cases of disparities in social structures, economic, economic developments and political systems in Asia than in Europe. 

Research Objectives

This study aims to discuss the regionalism in Asia in comparison to Europe regarding cooperation and integration. The study focuses on the strategies that Europe uses for it to become a model for other regions. To help guide the study, the following objectives were formulated:

  • To understand regionalism, integration and cooperation and how they are effective in Asia.
  • To compare history and current regionalism in Asia and Europe. 
  • To analyse issues of trade policy, security, immigration and foreign policy in both Europe and Asia

 

Research Question

What institutional similarities and differences are there between Asia and Europe?

 

Significance of the Study

Regionalism is a broad topic that is researched on in different regions. This study focuses on Association of East Asia Nations regionalism compared to the European Union organisation. The research is guided by reviewing various relevant works of literature that have been studied by other authors.

This research will help any individual in understanding the key issues that are connected to regionalism in Asia and the European Union and be able to compare and contrast the two regions. The study will also help in differentiating terms like region, regionalisation, integration, and cooperation. From this, complex issues related to regionalism will be easy to understand.

The study will provide efficient information, which will be helpful to anyone studying regionalism and trade in both Asia and Europe. Communicative and transferable skills will be demonstrated in the discussion of this research.

 

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 INTRODUCTION

 

In this chapter, existing literature on the research problem will be explored. The primary emphasis will be on the regionalism in ASEAN  compared to the European Union experience. Objectives, findings, and analysis of other authors’ work on the same topic will be discussed in this chapter. The chapter will highlight the knowledge on the integration and cooperation in Asia and how it contrasts with the European Union.

2.2 Economic Integration

Political and economic integration are the defining attributes of international economic and political scenes during the onset of the 21st century. Jetschke and Murray (2012) hold that while Asia lags behind as far as political and economic integration becomes concerned, Europe, on the other hand, is fully integrated. Even so, according to Jetschke and Murray (2012), it is unlikely that Asian nations will adopt the EU-Style of political integration; Asia will continue to use bilateral free trade agreements instead of multilateral free trade agreements (Soderbaum & Van Langenhove, 2013). 

According to Soderbaum and Van Langenhove (2013), the EU supports regional integration to a large extent by promoting regional stability, employing a rule-based approach to addressing global challenges, reducing development gaps, supporting economic growth and managing conflicts. The EU strives to extend its values to the world stage through emphasising on a global governance model that becomes rooted on regional integration while its identity thrives on a normative power (Soderbaum & Van Langenhove, 2013). However, the attractiveness of the EU model for regional integration gets reduced by the prevailing political, economic and financial constraints in Europe and around the globe. The model, however, remains the best and most affluent and can indeed be employed by others who wish to achieve such regional integration as the European Union.

Contrary, Asia is the most diverse continent on the planet regarding cultures, traditions, religions, races, languages and populations. In fact, it becomes agreed that there are several, not one Asia. More than half of the global populations exist in Asia; four of the largest global economies (China, Japan, India, and Korea) are in the continent ( Drysdale, 2015). Just like the Europe, Asia has established institutional frameworks.  The blocs are aimed at tackling issues such as economic development, climate change and environmental protection, energy security, transport and freedom of movement (Leggett, 2014). Even so, unlike the case of Europe, these Asian frameworks have faced serious challenges including heterogeneity, demographic disparities, lack of resources, limited political commitment, and consensus, different political systems, and un-uniformed economic development levels among the member states ( Drysdale, 2015). 

2.3 European Integration: Peace and Reconciliation

Reconciliation and political integration in Europe were products of European economic integration, following centuries of conflicts and war. After World War II, Europe was so distressed that its political leaders became conscious of the need to integrate into an attempt to keep the region away from war and any more rivalry within Europe (Malley-Morrison, Mercurio, & Twose, 2013). On top of the list was reconciliation between Germany and France, two countries that had engaged in three within a 50-year period; the reconciliation would lay an essential foundation for European integration. The U.S. contributed largely to this settlement which then bore significant recoveries for the European economies.

Also, Jean Monnet’s vision, which led to the coordination of intra-European activities in the major industries like steel and coal, was a significant tool in the establishment of a united and peaceful Europe (Malley-Morrison, Mercurio, & Twose, 2013).This vision led to the formation of European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Similarly, The Treaty of Rome was an essential element in the road towards a more integrated Europe, because laid out a channel for other goods alongside steel and coal to move freely. The Common Agricultural Community was also established later on, which enabled the management of agricultural products in the European community. In the 1970s, the EC extended its integration to include monetary affairs, which led to the formation of the European Monetary System (EMS) (The European Union, 2016). Before the establishment of the Euro in 1999, the EMS emerged to stabilise the European currencies. According to current literature, the creation of a joint European market promoted increased economic interdependence among the members of the EU hence prompting EU policy makers to work towards increased integration (The European Union, 2016). Furthermore, all countries were in agreement of the significance of achieving political and economic integration in Europe.

2.4 Asia: Integration with no institutionalisation 

Integration in the European Union emerged from an institutionalisation process, whereby European Economic Community was transformed to the European Union in 1992 Maastricht Treaty (Fabbrini, 2015). On the other hand, Asia nations have no regard for institution-building or institutionalisation.  According to these nations, institutionalisation gives birth to loss of sovereignty in the main policy areas. Asian countries hold the belief that regional integration should not become subject to institutionalisation; it imposes legally binding norms, regulations, and standards to the members (Caballero-Anthony, 2014). Arguably, Asian nations will be reluctant in establishing institutionalised economic integrations; they will keep pursuing export-based economic strategies and growth regimes in all their approaches to attracting Foreign Direct Investments.

While the EU model of economic and political institutionalisation surfaces as the ultimate model for regional integration, it is still important to note that Asian countries, with the lack of institutionalization, have been able to maintain a status of no legal-bounded integrations as well as making the integration process quite flexible. Moreover, the Asian nations share a common distrust that upon establishment, regional bureaucratic structures will still depend upon their state sponsors (Kawai, 2014). While forums and regional organisations like Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ARF (ASEAN Regional Forum) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have fostered transnational networks in Asia significantly, they have not yet become established as policy-making institutions.

The weakness of Asian formal institutions in comparison to Europe is two-fold: different domestic state structures and international norms exist between Europe and Asia. For instance, after World War II, the U.S. introduced the multilateralism norm as fundamental to U.S. foreign policy in Europe (Kawai & Wignaraja, 2011). Comparably, the U.S. foreign policy in Asia is defined by bilateral alliances and bilateralism. The U.S. was not interested in supporting or establishing regional institutions that would, in turn, challenge its foreign policies in Asia. Instead, various bilateral alliances became created between the U.S. and Asian countries. Currently, the U.S. reluctantly supports multilateralism in Asia to promote the American political and economic influence.

According to Kawai (2014), the prevailing Asian, domestic state structures are unfavourable for establishing formal institutions with legally-binding laws, rules, and decisions. ASEAN, formalised in 1967 for coordination of economic and foreign policies in Southeast Asia, is the most significant achievement in the Asian region regarding regionalism, cooperation, and integration (Kawai, 2014). The organisation emerged as a response to the Vietnam War; for security and political reasons as well promoting cooperation against communism in Asia. Although ASEAN became a legally-binding body in 2009, it operates under the doctrine of independence, respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the political affairs of the founding nations. The ASEAN is therefore not capable of influencing member states as far as policy-making is concerned. The EU, on the other hand, has highly rationalised bureaucracies, making it possible to handle formal institutions and public law.

Some scholars like Caballero-Anthony (2014), have labelled ASEAN a living and breathing Asian miracle; others refer to it as being among the most affluent regional integration projects while others think it is merely a talking shop with minimal impact (Caballero-Anthony, 2014). Over the 40 years of its existent, ASEAN has mostly been successful in the field of economics; decisions within ASEAN are through consensus, primarily resulting to the lowest common denominator method.

ASEAN’s regional accomplishments are often subject to debate. While there have been significant achievements in uniting the region and avoiding regional conflicts, the member states often put domestic concerns ahead of common interests. According to many analysts, ASEAN should become viewed as more of regional cooperation as opposed to regional integration. In fact, Asian countries have less regard for regional integration; most member states are more oriented towards nation building and national identity. In essence, as opposed to superseding sovereignty, ASEAN is consolidation instrument; shielding member states from foreign intervention. What then, is the need to pursue unrealistic regional ambitions?

2.5 Pragmatism in Asian integration

The benefits of regional integration have not become fully appreciated especially combinations within a given geographical area such as the EU. According to Rüland (2011), regionalism, and regional alliances are obstacles to the globalisation of political and economic relations. Such scholars present the EU as an exception in a world that is quickly embracing economic interactions and erosion of national borders in geographically defined regions. For instance, in 1990, scholars in Asia coined the term “soft integration”; an approach to integration from a Japanese perspective that stands in contrast with the European “hard integration” that gets established on politically defined standards. Asian countries have been unwilling to adopt European models of integration and instead apply methods of “open integration” as well as “open regionalism”; meaning that countries in Asia only come together when there is a shared and beneficial interest (Rüland, 2011). The approach exists on pragmatic and loose integration, with no legally-binding decisions. From this approach and concerning current literature, this “open regionalism” concept indicates that Asian initiatives for regional economic integration pay less attention to geographically defined regions. Moreover, the approach leans towards the establishment of integration processes that lack the basis for any formal institutions. 

Currently, integration in Asia gets best described as largely defined by markets. Furthermore, this integration is, for Asian nations, only deems significant if it produces economic benefits for all the countries involved; the region is yet to acknowledge the benefits of political integration. 

2.6 Need for regional integration in Asia

An increase in Asia’s share of the world trade can only be fostered through further economic integration regardless of whether it will be institutionalised or not. During the 21st century, Asia has increased its share of global trade, an indication that stronger free trade agreements will go a long way in promoting trade share in the world stage. Considering gross national income and population, China, South Korea, and Japan surpass the European Union and the North American Free Trade Area (Hsu, 2016). While further integration in Asia can foster economic cooperation, it is a significant tool in dealing with challenges like poverty, water shortage, environmental pollution, and deforestation. Also, greater integration will provide a sustainable energy supply in Asia, notably China which has an ever-increasing demand for crude oil, having overtaken Japan in this context. In fact, China was the largest oil importer in 2015, accounting for about 17% of total global crude oil imports (Hsu, 2016). Moreover, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), by 2020, East Asia will become the largest crude oil net importer.

Integrating Asia further economically will give the region’s policy makers a platform for collective negotiations of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI); decreased freedom will also limit the extent of short-term capital flows. It became speculated that these capital flows were among the leading causes of the Asian financial crisis of 1997/1998 (Jetschke & Murray, 2012). It was during this crisis that the Asian nations attempted to integrate regional monetary policies, albeit failure in establishing an Asian Monetary Fund (AMF) that would be meaningful for the provision of emergency funds for Asian nations during instances of economic crises (Caballero-Anthony, 2014). Following the crisis, Asian governments comprehended the importance of a regional monetary policy; leading to the formation of initiatives such as Miyazawa and Chang Mai that advocated for currency swaps among regional and central Asian banks. Similarly, the Asian bond market got established in 2003; an idea from Thailand’s Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, in 2002 (Berkofsky, 2005). The fund aims at encouraging the issuance of bonds by Asian governments for reinvestment within the region.

Western authors, according to Berkofsky(2005), emphasises that absence of democratic structures in Asia countries has contributed largely to obstructing regional integration in Asia. Asian countries operate on one-party democracy, which is in itself a challenge to the establishment of a meaningful regional integration. Western policy-makers holds that democracy is a prerequisite for legally-binding and codified political and economic alliances. Conversely, Asian governments employ the “network style” of integration (Berkofsky, 2005). The approach pursues integration through interpersonal and informal relations. Even so, the Asian crisis of 1997/1998 displayed the flaws of the approach and the need for more accountable and transparent domestic and regional banking and financial systems.

Asian corporate governance, even in the midst of the progress attained during the aftermath of the 1997/1998 financial crisis, is still underdeveloped while the financial and banking systems have limited accountability and transparency.

2.7 Comparison of EU-ASEAN Institutions

The EU comprises of many institutions including Council of Ministers, European Parliament, European Court of Justice, European Economic and Social Committee, Council of Ministers, Committee of Regions and European Central Bank (Best, 2010). To begin with, the council of ministers is the main body as the decision maker. The cabinet convenes once every month to discuss matters related to inter-governmental cooperation within the European Union region; home affairs, justice, security and foreign policies, policy and law making (Cini & Borragán, 2016). Moreover, there is a bi-annual meeting involving heads of member states, foreign ministers and the president of the commission. While there is an equivalent body for ASEAN, there is only one meeting per year, while the body has no legislative mandates.

The European Commission is another fundamental institution in the European Union, serving and acting as a communal executive arm, initiating public policies as well as defending the interests of the community about the directions of the council of ministers (Cini & Borragán, 2016). It has a legislative mandate of drafting proposals; the ASEAN region has no institution equivalent or comparable to the European Commission. The European Parliament is the third body, which functions without national borders of the founding members (Hix & Høyland, 2013). ASEAN has no such body. Lastly, the European Union has a court of justice comprised of 13 judges alongside six advocate generals. The body acts as an interpreter and assessor of the validity of the European Union laws. ASEAN has no institution equal to or comparable to the court of justice. According to the founding treaty, the only possibility in ASEAN would be to establish a high council; the heads of the member states are crowned the ministers of the Council over time (Caballero-Anthony, 2014). 

While there are no channels of making formal decisions in ASEAN, the EU, through the European Council, makes decisions on the subject matter, unanimity or a qualified majority (The European Union, 2016). When the latter gets employed in decision making, the EU ceases to function as an intergovernmental body. Lack of formal decision-making channels in ASEAN leads to decreased motivation towards regional integration; it takes a crisis or external pressure for the region to establish traditional approaches to integration. Comparably, the EU relies on its member states’ willingness for institutionalisation and enlargement as opposed to external pressure. 

2.8 Regional Policies

The EU establishes regional policies about well-defined policy instruments and targets. Instruments like structural and cohesion funds become employed in checking regional disparities for current and potential member states of the European Union (Bomberg, Peterson, & Corbett, 2012). The cohesion fund becomes mainly used for promotion of solidarity as well as economic and social cohesion amongst the EU member states through initiatives such as infrastructure, transport and environmental conservation and protection (Bomberg, Peterson, & Corbett, 2012). In ASEAN, countries are brought together by sub-regional cooperation; aimed at poverty reduction as well as reducing development gaps among the member-states. The Asian Development Bank is the primary source of funds for ASEAN; not forgetting that the bank is not an ASEAN initiative, compared to the European Investment Bank which was established by the European Union. The reliance of ASEAN on an institution that it did not create indicates a national as opposed to a supra-national approach to integration.

Also, the European region is more homogenous compared to a widely heterogeneous Asia. This heterogeneity is depicted in religion (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism) as well as in the political realm ( Drysdale, 2015). On political affiliations, Asia’s definition gets best described by autocracies, monarchies and also democracies. The definition is in contrast with the EU which is democratic and dominated by Christianity. This heterogeneity in Asia makes it quite challenging for the region to achieve greater regional economic integration.

 

CHAPTER THREE

METHODOLOGY

INTRODUCTION

The method of study selected for this study will be described in this chapter. This chapter outlines the strategy for the research, reason why the method was chosen, evaluation and eligibility of the publications used. Secondary data will be employed in the study to conduct a literature review on regionalism. Critical analysis on books on regionalism in Asia and Europe and information got from other sources will be used for comparison.

A literature review from journal articles, government websites, books, and reports from credible sources will be used in the research. The literature review will help in analysing existing knowledge of regionalism, and the information corrected used to answer the research questions.

Systematic Literature Review

The following steps are involved in a systematic literature review.

Research Questions Identification

The researcher formulates a question, which defines the scope of the researcher’s interest in a clear way. Terminologies used are cited from existing literature so that the work of other researchers is not replicated and to help in the development of research.

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

The researcher will review case studies and surveys done by others and will analyse data gathered from government bodies on regionalism. Data from both Europe and Asia will be compared.

Use of databases such as; journal articles, books, information from credible sources, government websites and other source giving relevant information will be involved.

 

Study Selection

Pre-defined criteria will be used in the selection of study. Studies, which are not related to the research, will not be included in the title and the abstract. Inclusion and exclusion criteria will be used to screen the full-text studies and retain the relevant topics. The screening will also help in preventing duplication of versions with similar contents.

 

Extracting Data

Relevant data and information will be obtained using spreadsheets. Decisions on whether to include and clarify other fields or existing ones will be enhanced by the use of extraction tool.

Results presentation

Detailed methodology and finding will be presented in a clear way, which will allow a review to be done in future. Recommendations will be provided and will be based on existing evidence. Recommendations will give directions for further research to fill in the gaps on the topic.

Search Strategy

Database to be used in the study includes; Google Books, Ebscohost.com, bookzz.org (online books), Sage journals and government publications.

Search terms

The following search terms will be used in the study; regionalism, integration, cooperation, regionalism in Asia and Europe, trade policy, immigration, security, foreign policy, among others. By using these search terms, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced as the search terms narrowed down. Those fields and sub-field that are in the research work are defined by the search terms. To give relevant information, identify key words that are common in the publication.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

DISCUSSION

In this age of globalisation, there is an open debate on the issues concerning regional integration on whether it is useful instruments to reach a globalised economy. Asia has been contemplating on the advantages and disadvantages of the regional integration (Defraigne, Dieter, Higgott, & Lamy, 2006). Since 1997 crises, there are signs of progress to an economically integrated region in East Asia, which, exceed the standard policies of trade integrations. Regional markets are established from country markets, decline and elimination of tariffs and cross-border investments, are some of the moves that are fostering the inter-regional cooperation. Integration promoting structure is well shown by the Association of East Asian Nations( ASEAN) and most specifically by the ASEANN+3, which includes; ASEAN +Japan, China, and Korea.

 

Regionalism

Regionalism is conceptualised by policy makers concerning the European Union and political and strategic learning emulation is among the major features about regionalism in the world. Region building elites have learned from the Europeans time lag between the construction of regional orders and the developments. The EU’s institutional complexity, policy, and longevity are viewed by many as being more than just an international organisation.

Regionalism has gained more popularity in the East Asia, and studies on regionalism have become common in the recent years. In the cold world war era, regionalism arrived in Southeast Asia in with institutional form, and its logic linked with the powers of strategies and less of public awareness. Cooperation promotion was a plan of individual nations of the sub-regions and regionalism did not exist in the Northern Asia. Liu (2015) discussed that regionalism sources have grown in East Asia over the years and attributed to by the increase in interdependence, sub-regional economic grouping, cross-border economic interactions and experience of regional organisations. From the study, East Asia has had transformations in political development, and regional economic and Regionalism is closely related to this.

New regionalism has a different concept to that of during the cold war, whereby, novelty resides in its ability as an alternative to the hegemonic stability. Telò (2016) discussed that new regionalism and globalisation are not only economic but are also political processes. The author described the two of being concepts that are involved in the weakening of barriers to trade and strengthening interdependence. This is shown by; uncertainties of global multi-laterism, strategic traders, trade blocs, and by current asymmetries. New regionalism according to Telò (2016), matters inwardly by conditioning states and companies’ approaches, and outwardly by contributing to the changing international system.

Unilateralism and unipolarism, local fragmentation and nationalists are challenges that are provoked by fears of marginalisation, and they can play directly or indirectly to support or conflict roles in the development of new regionalism and regional cooperation. The author concluded the study by saying that regionalism may enhance international cooperation because bargaining between regional blocs is easier and efficient than between states. However, regionalism may create less cooperative regime.

Integration

Regional economic integration is becoming popular in the world today. In the 19th century, there was the emergence of agreement on trade preferences, which was due to the increase in trade intensity. In the 20th century, integration increased in different areas including; North America and Europe (WTO, 2011).In Asia, regional integration processes are based on the development of market links between countries in the region. Through support by state policies, enterprises use internationalisation strategies and invest in other neighbouring countries heavily. Economic ties in East Asia initially, used traditions, which were complemented by capital flows. In the 1990s, integration increased due to problems Asian financial crisis which was in 1997 (WTO, 2011). Production ties have developed due to the transnational corporations’ activities in Asia, and these links are today among the significant economic relationship that are connecting the analysed countries 

De Grauwe, and Zhang (2016) discussion show that East Asia over the past years has gained economic transformations and listed among dynamic regions and integrated areas in the world. East Asia regionalism, reflecting the economies diversity, follows different patterns with Europe and other regions of the world. East Asia regional integration has been brought about by market forces and development of advanced production sharing, whereby China has been instrumental.

In the study, the author explains that Economic integration in East Asia has developed into new international specialisation marked by complex sharing of products and trade between the regions. This development is due to the East Asian countries’ intensifying cooperation and the growing economic interdependence among the countries. China’s rapid rise has important impacts on the East Asia global economy, and in economic integration and over the last three decades, the economic reforms have changed the country into significant manufacturing and trading nation in the world.

Cooperation

Chia, S. Y. and Plummer, M. G. (2015) stated that cooperation schemes started in 1977.Asia expansion intra-regional trade and international trade has enhanced a remarkable growth in its development. To exploit the international trade benefits, poverty alleviation, integration and cooperative efforts in lowering the transaction costs in the international trade have increased in the recent years (Tan, & Acharya, 2015). Regional cooperation was pursued by the Asian countries to recover from the financial crises of 1998/1999.Asia’s foreign investments and trade flows have increased due to its market-driven integration, regional cooperation frameworks, infrastructure development, incorporation into international production networks and outward-oriented networks.

Asian and non-Asian multinational corporations have linked many parts of the region by developing international supply chains. Developments have been supported by financial integrations through enhancing innovative financial instruments and access to credit (Brooks, & Stone, 2010). Regional cooperation allows regional investments in trade-related infrastructure projects through strengthening economic integration and growth.

Delays in customs clearance, poor governance, high freight costs, slow port loading, and unofficial payment solicitations generate trade barriers. Discretionary powers, information asymmetries and institutional bottlenecks including financial, legal, administrative give rise to activities at various transaction steps, which impose costs. These costs are reduced by cooperation outbound and inbound shipments (Fort, & Webber, 2008). Cooperation in Preferential Trade and Investment Agreement, which enhances destination’s attractiveness for foreign investments and strengthen structural reforms, can influence domestic policy actions leading to efficiency, equity, and growth.  Regional cooperation helps to increase benefits from combination with other nations in the international competition efficiency gains.

Trade policy

Formal economic institutionalisation has been adopted by the East Asian community, and the change was brought about with regards to Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Preferential Trade Agreement framework was signed by China in February 2003, with ten nations having pledged free trade by 2010.Japan also signed the PTA framework with ASEAN in October 2003. In May, South Korea signed the PTA of its own with the ASEAN, which led to ASEAN+3. EAS, which has three countries including; New Zealand, Australia and India together with ASEAN+3 have been having meetings  (Aggarwal, & Lee, 2011). USA has also been supporting the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) through sponsorship by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and (TPP) Trans-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which will help in connecting the existing and creating new bilateral trade agreements among Asian Pacific nations.

Understanding cross-national variance, researchers are supposed to give attention to politics in the USA and East Asian countries, which involves; NGO in the region, business groups, labour unions and interplay of government agencies (Aggarwal, & Lee, 2011).The USA and East Asian countries have adopted measures, which they use to regulate trade flows. From the study, East Asian countries lack well-institutionalised organisations like the ones in the European countries. To manage their trade relations, East Asia countries rely on the melange of semi-institutional and institutional measures.

Rapid growth in international trade has been a strategy for successful growth and development in East Asian countries. Trade has been significant in the growth of the region, which has led to poverty eradication. Intra-regional trade has grown at a higher rate than trade with other markets. Kharas and Krumm( 2004) discussed that trade profiles in East Asian countries have become mutually complementary, which is comparable to NAFTA and USA. Gaps between poor and rich countries are the major causes of regional inequalities. To address income inequality in Eat Asia, institutions and policies that contribute to low-income countries’ fuller integration should be used, and this contributes to a stable religion.

Policymakers today see investment integration and trade to be among the key features to strategy. Although after Asian economic crises there was the emergence of some trade barriers, these trade barriers were temporary and minor. According to Kharas and Krumm (2004), the Asian economic crises developed new impetus for openness instead of more protection. Trends in composition and magnitude of intra-East Asian trade need to be integrated further. When comparing conditions in East Asia, there are similarities with those countries, which previously implemented successful regional arrangements as NAFTA and the European Union. Market driven regional integration have been achieved in East Asia in a high scope, but bin regionalism, economic integration and cooperation agreements and arrangements have traditionally been limited.

In East Asia, Multilateral and Bilateral trade agreements are becoming more involved. Kharas and Krumm (2004) distinguish regionalism and economic regionalization, whereby regionalism is the economic integration and economic cooperation arrangements and agreements among countries, which are designed to gain economic growth by trading, investing, liberalisation and facilitation. On the other hand, regionalization is the greater economic interdependence, which is as a result of; migration flows, investment, increased intraregional trade, and technology with no formal cooperation framework. Since the mid-1980s, regionalization or market-driven integration has occurred in East Asia through investment linkages and rise in trade (Kharas, & Krumm, 2004). This process is due to unilateral reforms in individual economies. It is also as a result of ‘flying geese’, which involves moving production processes to less expensive regions as domestic rate increases. 

Preferential Trade Agreement help in the economic efficiency achieved from trade liberalisation. Members of the Preferential Trade Agreement allocates their resources to sectors, which have the comparative advantage to the. Economies of scale and attraction of other foreign direct investments are enhanced due to this combined market. Agreement of China to the WTO will increase competitiveness and China’s ability to win market shares in ASEAN member countries’ domestic market. ASEAN as a whole will benefit from China’s accession (Katada, 2010). The restructuring will provide a momentum for the creation of new religion production network, which will be exported to developed countries and growing markets in East Asia.

Security

Asia’s security problems have become a critical area of study by scholars of international relations, policymakers and the media inside and outside the region (Hoadley, & Rüland, 2006). The nature of security has been changing in Asia since the end of cold war in 1990.Asian financial crises that happened in 1997 and 1998 shows the importance of having an economic security, which has implications on political and international securities. Additionally, counter-terrorism campaign raised by the Asian Government, the attack against the USA and subsequently against the Asian targets have raised worries about terrorism. Exhaustion of natural, resources, worsening atmospheric pollution, economic hardships, surging of illegal migrants, displacement of people, and armed conflicts are among the event that has signalled the dynamic nature of security and hence attracting measure to meet the threats. Interstate military rivalries including; China and Taiwan, North and South Korea, India and Pakistan are among the familiar security threats, which consume human and economic resources that could be utilised for social and economic programs. 

Asia is known to be rich in religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity and if all these are not well managed, they may cause secession, civil wars, pogroms, and riot. Ethnic conflicts make the similar case with terrorism, which can be exploited by entrepreneurial piracy and organised crime (Hoadley, & Rüland, 2006). Physical and economic security is hence undermined when there is the combination of this terrorism and ethnic strife, which leads to the generation of refugees.

Changing nature of security challenges have defined trends towards closer security cooperation (Anthony, & Cook, 2013).Contemporary security concerns such as; extremism, poverty, infectious diseases and environmental degradation require a multi-stakeholder response and cannot be addressed by military alone. The nature of transnational problems emphasises the need for states to cooperate to find policies by involving stakeholders in the decision-making processes. These issues include migration, health, security, transnational crimes, energy and environment, food and water, and natural disasters.

Asia’s trends are in contrast to those of the Europe (Gill, & Schiffer, 2008). Europe is economically integrated, and multilateral processes and institutions are developed. Like Asia, security and economic agendas of the European Union are changing. Capital markets, labour, and globalised commodity are among the challenges that are affecting the competitiveness of many European Union countries.

Foreign Policy

Third world countries led by Africa and the Middle East have revived the comparative study on the foreign policy, which lagged in the 1970s.This move aims to bring Southeast Asia region to the same combination of area study. Attempts to make a new framework for foreign policy to be applied in Southeast Asia are explained by the fact that no work compares all the states in the region (Gill, & Schiffer, 2008). Use of advanced political economy frameworks in the recent studies have focused on the treatments of multinational corporations rather than encompassing the full range of foreign policy. Foreign policies, which are either: neutralist, Pro-Soviet or Pro-US can be found ad with this diversity, for Southeast Asia to be conceived as a region despite having a large part of it being covered by regional organisations, which are active.

Southeast Asia diversity does not make it difficult to hold many variables in trying to recognise foreign policy, but this difference makes it be third world representative as a whole. Foreign trade policy is connected to security policy, and trends and events in the external environment influence the domestic political arrangements (Wurfel, & Burton, 1990). Foreign policy on a comparative basis can evaluate on how a particular state can adapt, control or succumb to external penetrations or challenges. Strategies range from exclusionist to those to decisions and rules that exclude only certain kinds of foreign penetration.

Promoting, guiding, controlling and monitoring processes and decisions relating to the national welfare is a major problem of foreign policies. As some regimes are making ties between political and commercial questions, welfare controversial are linked to issues in security and autonomy domains. For instance, National Trade policy can be an important element of national security.

Empirical and theoretical significant contributions have been made in understanding foreign policy in Europe. This pattern of behaviour leads to conclusions that those states that restricted traditional foreign policy have moved towards accepting standard action value. Current functioning and European integration are examples of establishing norms of behaviours and propagating them by regional institutions (Wong, & Hill, 2011). Respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are key factors that EU member states consider when determining how the state is organised and how it functions. European Union member states have agreed to strengthen their democracy, norms and human rights in European Union foreign policy. 

To encourage other countries to abide by their norms, European Union uses conditionality in its foreign policy. The rule of law and democracy are used as incentives for European Union membership so that certain conditions of human rights are fulfilled (Wong, & Hill, 2011). Promoting norms beyond the European Union is challenging and represents foreign policy weakness in the European Union. For instance, European Union has expanded norms in different standard with regards to the strategic significance of the nation in question.

Norm building through multilateral institutions in Asia is different with the European Union regarding their standards and how they promote them. Institutions in Asia embody norms more than they generate and promote them (Gill, & Schiffer, 2008). Creation and promotion of norms in the ASEAN countries is a way of community building, and these norms are different to those of Europe and in policy making, they are expressed differently. The ASEAN norms of not interfering with states affairs, sovereignty, and economic activities are core to ASEAN identity.

Comparative Regionalisation Framework

Regionalisation can be defined as the process of adapting to the norm of a state, policy content, identity, policy styles, policy making, political opportunity structures, and economy to shape and align interests, priorities and norms at regional level, which may thereafter develop, dissolve or reach stasis (Laursen, 2016).  From this definition, four independent variables can be analysed to generate the necessary understanding of regionalisation. 

The first independent variable is ‘genesis.’ Genesis asks the reason a state joins and proceed to participate in the regionalisation process. It also questions the objectives of the state and how inclusions and exclusion are defined and how they are determined (Laursen, 2016).  Through those investigations, the scholars can identify similarity of regionalisation process and create the relationship between this and region’s identity and membership. 

Functionality is the second independent variable and investigates the functions of a region once established. Functionality also investigates on the individuals who are involved in the decision-making process and their influence on the process. It also asks the range of issues that are addressed by a region and whether they change with time (Laursen, 2016). If they change with time, functionality seeks to understand why they change and the decisions made. It also aims to know if a region is designed to eliminate or to proceed with the bilateral relations among the nations. The region’s implementation capacities and how members consider their performances is another factor that functionality investigates on.

The third independent variable is socialisation, which checks whether a region has any effects on the normative contexts and the ideational on its elements parts of the mass and elite levels (Laursen, 2016). Population growth is also investigated on whether it is growing or decreasing with time. Another aspect studied on is if there is regionalisation of political identity and the effects it makes on the political behaviour.

The impact is the fourth independent variable. It investigates on the output and the products gained from the regionalisation process. Other than the socialisation variable which focuses on the ideational outcomes, the impact is focused on materials (Laursen, 2016). It is centred on global, political economy, policies and structure of its members, or on the region’s effects on the domestic political economy. It also investigates on whether the region has made any impacts on the third nations and if it has how it has done it. Relationship of the component states and the external influence is also investigated upon.

 

Comparison of Regionalism in Asia and the European Union 

Katzenstein regards Asia and Europe as significant sites of economic and geopolitical interactions. He considers that both regions exhibit porousness, which leads to forces of internationalisation and globalisation. Katzenstein compares Europe and Asia stating that regionalism in Europe is political and formal and reliance is on legal norms and social bargains. In Asia, regionalism has characteristics of economic and informal, and reliance is on ethnic or national capitalism and market transactions. Another difference that Katzenstein describes is the ‘Core States,’ which defines the states that play roles in an organising region while serving the United States interests.

Europe and Asia also differ in terms of attitudes towards sovereignty. In Europe, regionalism is intrusive and definite than in Southeast Asia, where sovereignty is pooled, and they are focussing on multilateral arrangements, which characterise the security order of Europe (Katzenstein, 2007). What accounts for this difference is that European partners were viewed by United States policymakers as equal members of a shared community, whereas in Asia, they were considered an inferior community. The United States view Europe as the desirable region for its multilateral engagement than Asia due to the greater Trans-Atlantic community than the Trans-Pacific community. 

Katzenstein describes three aspects that describe the differences between Europe and Asia, which include; state structures, regime types and state power. Regionalism in Europe consists of relatively equal neighbours, composed of states with well-functioning bureaucracies and similar system types. Political systems in Asia differ widely, and the intra-Asians relations are hierarchical.

Another difference between regionalism in Asia and Europe is that Europe is led by strong states including France and Germany, while Asia is led by lesser states in terms of cohesion and capability. Regionalism in Europe was due to the legitimacy of nationalism while regionalism in Asia was founded on aspirations of nationalist leaders in the region. Regionalism and nationalism in Europe clashed while Asia was based on a harmonious relationship.

 Many regional bodies are established due to the desire for peace and stability. European Union’s legitimating values and fundamental achievement was to develop a peaceful community and involved reconciliation with the former enemies. Through that reconciliation, durability, and success of the entire integration project has been sustained. The European Union has promoted itself as a security community, and this is attributed to by the fact that war between its members is not possible (Doidge, 2016). This has enhanced confidence building measure in the history of Europe. The European Union is characterized by institutional strategies to community and region building, which has entailed to the economic community with the assistance of the binding legislation, and security and political security with assistance by the United States.

The European Union has involved identity, norms, and values and encompasses with the establishment of the common market, European citizenship and identity, common agricultural policy, customs unions, and sharing of competencies among the European Union bodies. One of the most important features of European Union is its sovereignty, which is pooled by the 27 member states.

Advanced regional integration involves non-economic and economic inter-linkages. Asia has a high degree of open regionalism, limiting the relevance of European Union in this context. European Union common market is based on four freedoms, which includes; movement of labour, goods, capital and services 

According to Murray (2010), a region is defined in terms of geographical proximity; shared land mass or island, or shared borders. This provides a basis for understanding a region. In the European Union, they have set of rules, which must be followed before joining the union. This criterion is referred to as Copenhagen criteria. The rule of law, conditions of democracy and a functioning market are at the base. They are then followed by the thirty-one chapters of administrative, legal and institutional patrimony. Definition of the region in Asia depends on the policy or sector under discussion (Murray, 2010). ASEAN and APEC are the major economic bodies, while multi-lateral regional security body is the ARF. Political cooperation consists of the ASEAN+3 and EAS. All these are important bodies, and now the maturing regional bodies under discussion includes the ASEAN+8, which includes; ASEAN and China, South Korea, New Zealand, Japan, United States and Australia.

Processes of regionalism in Asia and Europe according to scholarly agreements have occurred due to different reasons, different historical contexts and have different outcomes. In Europe, regional cooperation has been driven by policy imperatives and peace imperatives, due to the geography and history of Europe. In contrast, regional cooperation in Asia has been motivated by markets.

Integration in Europe is viewed to be internally oriented while that in Asia is viewed to be externally oriented and focussed on external spheres and the need to be open on the global market (Murray, 2010). This gives the main difference between open regionalism and closed regionalism and has been suggested because of Asia’s lack of identity or shared values, which were crucial in the establishment of the European Union.

In Asia, there are political, social and economic disparities than in Europe as well as differences in development levels, religion and democratic structure and norms. Europe and Asia in this regard, have different patterns of policies and politics. Nationalism and regionalism have had a symbiotic relationship in Asia while as in Europe; regionalism arose as a result of nationalism failure (Katzenstein, 2007). National- state roles differ in the two regions as shown when focussing on the sovereignty in Asia’s regionalism key analysis. The significance of sovereignty is summarized by non-interference principle in other states, for instance, application of solidarity as a norm the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and ASEAN+3.

According to scholars, Asians can learn from the European Union experience in a number of ways and suggest that Asia can adopt governance principles as the; European Union ways of subsidiarity and consensus, measures to effectively use regional institutions in dealing with insecurity matters, efforts to deal with trans-border issues, involving civil societies in the consultation of regional integrations and ways to develop integrations, and institutions to enhance compliance.

In Europe, regional cooperation is wide in scope and is thorough in the legal norms and formal institutions. Negotiations and formal treaties introduce increased interactions in Europe making Europe’s regionalism to be policy-induced or politics led. In contrast, Asian regionalism is motivated by the growth of economic transactions and informal interactions without state based negotiation or policy coordination.

Development proposals for Asian regionalism insist on the formalisation of existing structures. It is suggested to have Asian Community, which will incorporate socio-cultural forums, economic forums, and security, and is evident from the 2008 ASEAN charter and reports of ASEAN eminent persons group. There have also been calls for security issues and increased cooperation, to enhance security, peace, and stability in the region. 

Leadership and membership are two significant challenges that need to be determined and resolved in all the architectural designs. Regional body’s objectives should be sustained so that distinct advantages are presented to the participating states. For an effective regional architecture in Asia; the following elements have been advanced.

  • Capable of facilitating trade and investments.
  • Should promote regional security.
  • Help in building East Asian community.
  • Should permit government heads to discuss common challenges.

 

Patterns of Regional Integration

Economic and political terms can be used to explain motivational forces that are behind the regional integration. Regional integration lies on different economic grounds: Relationships with neighbouring countries stimulate increased trade and investment relations. Neighbour’s economic relations do not require interdependence like the World Trade Organisations does. Global liberalization strengthens the ability and efficiency to compete in different regions. Impacts of savings in transport costs and regional economies of scale lead to dynamic impacts that lead to economic growth. Compared to the United States and Asia, the resurgence of European Union through single market would ensure competition in Europe. 

To increase competitiveness, it is important to eliminate obstacles to free movement of services, goods, and people across the national borders. The objectives of single market were to eliminate trade barriers, establishing a large domestic market, whereby global companies could be developed and bringing about market integration. This would suggest restructuring companies and industries in terms of economies of scale and comparative advantage. High profits and reduced prices would result hence benefiting the competitiveness of a business and also research and development.

AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area) abolishment of customs duties is the first step in the establishment of Asia economic cooperation. According to Peng in (Telò, 2016), informal cooperation is in three forms 

  • Sub-regional zones, which incorporates cooperation based on geographical proximity for instance in ASEAN
  • Production networks based on economic division of labour, which encompasses cooperation lines of industrial production
  •  and ethnic business systems that represent cooperation in ethnic lines. 

These three forms according to Peng are usually overlooked as significant regional cooperation forms. However, they drive trade and investment in the region, in the absence of formal economic institutions. The importance of these forms exceeds that of the formal cooperation. Southeast Asia informal types of cooperation increased the developments of policy communities in the ASEAN. Formal and informal policies have continuously developed in ASEAN. Within the study of European Union policy making, the same kind of multi-actor, multi-channel and multi-level informal and formal activities have been found. The concept of ‘policy-networks’ has been introduced by many authors to describe connections between European Union policy makers and different interests.

Non-institutional or informal cooperation has been the Asian-Pacific dominant form of regional cooperation. The demands for the South-east Asian nations have been well served for the International economic cooperation. Southeast Asia through ASEAN has set a successful model for the new form of regional cooperation. As a regional political organisation, ASEAN has been successful since the late 1980s, though the progress has been slow in the economic arena. Political and economic cooperation increased in the 1990s, and the development has proceeded on in an intergovernmental way.

Intergovermentalism and Neo-functionalism are integration theories that are used to explain integration in Europe. For the past 40 years, spill-over that was advocated by neo-functionalism in ASEAN has not been visible limiting the theory’s explanatory power (Soesastro, & Findlay, 2006). On the other hand, inter-govermentalism regards the states to be protective of national interests and sovereignty, and relative bargaining power shapes their interactions whereby larger states have influence over the outcomes. 

Cockerham in (Telò, 2016), argues that the best theory to explain integration in ASEAN is inter-governmentalism. Various factors support the intergovernmental approach: Head of states in the ASEAN summit being the supreme policy-making institutions represent the inter-governmental approach on the decision -making. ASEAN continuity is reflected as driven by policy makers preferring non-supranational institution. Emphasis on consensus and consultation of decision making reinforces this feature. ASEAN endurance is discussed considering that they perceive the national interest being served through cooperation. Integration pace also indicates they are careful on their sovereignty and that they are not willing to delegate authority to supranational institutions despite the fact that they could get benefits from the cooperation.

ASEAN lack of sanctioning mechanism and having weak security structure shows that members perceive procedural and substantive limits to their cooperation as their best interest. Constructivity assumes that states identity and interests are endogenous meaning that they have an internal origin. A place for countries to develop shared identity can be provided by the institutions and integration is based on values and norms that establish regional identity over time. ASEAN identity according to constructivistic has been established through repeated instructions over time. Acharya in (Telò, 2016), argued that regional community is established from shared norms and that states still maintain sovereignty while complying with the ASEAN’s regulations. The newly independent states that are searching for identity according to Acharya can convincingly explain ASEAN’s origin.

 

Geographical and Historical Contexts

United States has played a significant role in shaping both the European Union and ASEAN. Establishment of EAS and ARF shows the interest of ASEAN member states and other participants to have the United States remaining in the region (Gilson, 2002). Asian members are seeking to have the United States play roles as counterweight due to the increasing influence from China. The United States is likely to maintain the relationship as a security provider with the Asians. China is a potential rival to the United States hegemon, and as it joins the ASEAN, it poses potential threats to some Asian nations for example Vietnam.

China will play a vital role in the ASEAN +3 in the economic regionalism. This has been reinforced by the ASEAN-China FTA (Plummer, & Chia, 2010). The overwhelming economic influence of China on the region is presenting a challenge for multilateralism and economic regionalism, which is a significant goal of the European Union Policy. With regards to inter-regionalism, there is need to study on the meeting held by the European Union and Asia, to check how significant it is as a mechanism and process of developing agendas and shared understanding. The study also assists in understanding the various socialisation forms between the Asia states and the European Union. The patterns, designs, and existence of inter-regional mechanisms of treaty style agreement, summitry and dialogue need further investigations.

ASEM will continue to have relevance since it represents around 60% of the world’s total population and the Gross Domestic Products. More concerns will rise in the future regarding the ASEM’s processes and mechanisms and how multi-laterism and inter-regionalism can be presented.

 

Economic Linkages between EU and ASEAN

Direct commercial connections between ASEAN and EU were established by the European Maritime powers eastward excursions from the 15th century. Colonial relationship series developed and persisted until the post-war era. Southeast Asia was dominated by many aspects of European firms over that period. For the recent years, ASEAN and EU have become partners in trade and investments (Dent, 1999). EU and ASEAN relation dates back to 1980 when they signed Co-operation Agreement, which represented the treaties made by different regional countries to one another. This agreement stressed on the economic cooperation, commercial and technical assistance. It also gave a chance to remake their relations framework with the ex-colonial nations and promote EU in the region.

The agreement would also help the ASEAN states to diversify in their external relations and not only in the Asia-Pacific borders. Initial ASEAN’s concerns were reconciliation and nation building but also strived to maintain beneficial co-operations with regional and international organisations, which possessed the same objectives and purposes (Coleman, & Underhill, 2012). Meeting that was held in 1971 by foreign ministers showed the ASEANs interest in creating links with the EC. Special Coordinating Committee of ASEAN Nations (SCCAN) was set up by ASEAN in June 1972. The meeting consisted of trade ministers, whose objectives were to enhance groups that stood in the EC hierarchy of preferential trade partners.

ASEAN Brussels Committee (ABC) was formed in the same month of June to help SCCAN. It comprised of Ambassadors from diplomatic missions, and they met severally to discuss the issues (Coleman, & Underhill, 2012). To help conduct and maintain the European Union-ASEAN dialogues, many common committees developed in different regions including Paris, London, and Bonn. Southeast Asia was seen to be the most stable nation among the developing countries in the area, which was North-South dialogue key mediator and had promising economic growth.

In 1974 after the ECs commercial agreement initiative failure, ASEAN-EC relation proceeded due to the establishment of a joint study group that prepared the future agreement between EC and ASEAN. This made the first step of EC-ASEAN relation formalising. The original framework was to take a period of five years and two appraisals done. The objectives of this framework comprised of:

  • To strengthen regional organisations dedicated to social progress, cultural development and economic growth
  • To develop ASEAN-EC trade and economic relations by considering their mutual benefits and comparative advantages.
  • To contribute to international trade expansion.
  • To facilitate advancement of human and material resources.

During their developing years, the EC-ASEAN economic relationship was donor-recipient respectively. ASEAN attempted to rise in trade relations within the CCP hierarchy. The EU gave the ASEAN financial aid, which was more than FDI flows from the firms in EU. Dependence on EU by ASEAN was evident in the trade partners’ shares. According to Coleman and Underhill (2012), ASEAN’s third significant external trade partner was represented by EU in 1980, with 14.1% of its import and export trade. However, ASEAN had only 3% exports and 2.7% imports of EU.

Over the 1980s there was an emphasis on switching towards the economic cooperation from humanitarian assistance and development cooperation. This was an indication that EC perceived ASEAN as a capable economic partner. Calls for establishment equal partnership between ASEAN and EC was done by the end of the 1980s, and this prepared the EC-ASEAN relations in the 1990s.At global and multilateral level, globalisation consciousness, completion of Uruguay round and the post cold war led to the formation of geo-economics from geopolitics.

Eastern and Central Europe market restructuring imposed a challenge to the ASEAN through region’s potential to divert the European Union investments and trade from Southeast Asia. Creation of a free trade area was an advantage to both the EU and ASEAN regions as more investments and trades were generated.

 

Maximising Benefits: EU and ASEAN

Closer collaboration between the EU and ASEAN in their compatible economic interests and their shared global agenda can help maximise net benefits. Similar to the AFTAs objectives, it recognises that the economic relations between the Southeast Asians and other Pacific nations are the same with those shared by both ASEAN and the European Union. Establishment of collaborative arrangements by ASEAN with the broader Pacific Basin is wider than that with the European Union.

Considering the mutual market access, to create a leveller global playing field, a case can be for a successful collaboration between the European Union and ASEAN (Tan 1996).  Making the case is laid on the foundation that ASEAN and European Union economic linkages increased from 1987 through 1993. Economic activities and enhanced trade lead to more growth for all the partners. The European Union maintaining market access to the Southeast Asia adds benefits to the enterprises and individuals based in the European Union region.Expor4ts, which are destined to the region enhances the creation of income and employment (Laursen 2016).  Manufactured imports and valuable commodities, which originate from the Southeast Asia, are important in the European Union production processes.

South-east Asian suppliers provide the European Union with the provision of services, which helps the European trade interests, private capital transfers and chances for profitable DFI. By broader collaboration, Europe would become a partner, which would have benefits for both the European Union and non-European Union regions. This broader collaboration would be based on the principle experience of NAFTA and AFTA whereby the AFTA’s experience would be an instrument to threaten the North America interests in the ASEAN.

At its second summit in 1977, ASEAN launched a formal dialogue program and shortly afterwards, a discussion meeting with the United States followed. Discussions are currently performed between the European Union and other greater Asia-Pacific nations including United States, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and Australia. In 1979, ASEAN initiated a series of Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) in addition to the bilateral dialogues, whereby the ASEAN foreign ministers meet with their colleagues from the partner dialogue nations after the annual meetings (Laursen 2016). Although the bilateral dialogues are still held, PMCs have become the instruments of dialogues between ASEAN and the developed nations reflecting two aspects of the environment: growing interdependence of the Pacific Basin and the interdependence of political, strategic and economic issues. PMCs also allows for free-flow dialogue discussing issues on the multilateral basis with ASEAN’s economic partners. 

The United States and ASEAN dialogue is enhanced by cooperation beyond what the Southeast Asia and the European Union have decided to do so far. In 1990, ASEAN and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which became effective in 1991 and 1992 and was based on the content of the last report called ASEAN-US Initiative (AUI).The Memorandum of Understanding set up a committee for trade and investment, which aimed at having consultations of trade and development issues, identifying opportunities for increasing trade and investments and transfer technology human resource development and monitoring relations in trade and investments.

The ASEAN-EU meeting discussed that the committee would comprise senior officials from both parties. United States was chaired by the by the deputy United States trade representative, while the ASEAN was chaired by the economic minister’s group chairman. The committee was to meet once a year and representatives of either the ASEAN or EU private sector would be invited to participate in the meetings if there are agreements (Laursen 2016). Private sectors participating in the negotiation are an important move because their manufacturing and commercial decisions would lead to trade being expanded, established or diverted. The United States and ASEAN private sector officials are committed to undertaking efforts, which would promote open regionalism and economic harmony. 

ASEAN and European Union regions could focus on a collaboration that protects market access in the European Union and ASEAN interregional economic activities. ASEAN and European Union should have an agenda, which ensures that the European Union has ways that help in undercutting the benefits of protectionism in the Southeast Asia and at the same time give ASEAN access to Europe.

The European Union is interested in ensuring that Europeans get opportunities to have market relations with Southeast Asians. Effective dialogues ensure that trade diversions are minimised while the expansions are maximised.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

CONCLUSION

East Asia regionalism rose in 1990 and started in the context of the end of the bipolar international structure, dismantling of the Soviet Union, end of the cold world war and globalisation development. The 1997 Asian Financial crisis accelerated the regionalism. Attention from academic community has been attracted by the East Asia since its conception. This paper has attempted to discuss the regionalism in Asia considering critical issues like security, trade, foreign policy and comparing with the European Union organisation, which has acted as a model for Asia. The appropriateness of the use of East Asia and East Asia regionalism in this dissertation is clearly indicated by the review of the literature on ‘region’ and ‘regionalisation’.

East Asia has learned a lot from the European Union regionalisation, which has been its model. However, the European Union and East Asia have differences in terms culture and history. While East Asia emerged out of cold world war, European regionalism was out the end of world war two (Wunderlich, 2016). Another difference is that the United States supported the trend to prevent communism in European regionalism, while in Asia, bilateral relations have been developed by the United States and do not support communist states.

Some lessons learned from the European Union by the ASEAN include: 

  • Regionalism requires vision and to realise those statesmen’s visions; practical steps must be followed.
  • Regionalism is a step by step process and whereby clear goals must present each step. The European Union, for example, had set goals to have a common currency, common agricultural policy, common trade policy and common market.
  • Win-win manner should be the goal of regionalism so that the member states can feel better off inside than outside.

Economic integration is another step that is critical in integration. Having shared projects, pooling resources and government commitments are important in regionalisation. Without considering the historical and cultural differences between the European Union and ASEAN, regions that have looked EU as a model have provided ASEAN with knowledge on regionalism.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To increase its growth and integration, Asia must rely on its potentially large market, and this will enhance it to regain its dominance in the world economy. Disparity over time and space should be reduced among the members, and the integration processes should not only allow the members to grow fast. Therefore, Asia needs to manage integration process carefully.

Both regions should learn from each other since every region has something different that can be drawn from the other region. Scholars from the European Union can determine policies used in the Southeast Asia, and vice versa. Mutual sharing of theoretical and conceptual understanding of regionalism by scholars from both regions helps them to learn more through comparison. 

Further research on this study requires the researchers to examine regionalism separately according to the regions so that they can compare and contrast them. Investigating other regions enables the researchers to be able to identify the practical strategies that have been used by the European Union that have made the area to be a model to the ASEAN.

 

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASIA AND EUROPE IN TERMS OF INTEGRATION AND COOPERATION

 

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

 

ABSTRACT

With the increasing growth of regional organisations, integration is becoming prominent in different regions. However, detailed comparative analyses lack in the field.

The primary objective of this dissertation is to discuss and do a comparative research of two regional organisations; The Association of Southeast Asian Union and the European Union. Perceived as a model for integration, European Union is the most developed project regarding integration in the world. On the other hand, ASEAN is seen to be the most viable organisation on that part of the globe. While at face these two regions seem to have no similar features, there is much evidence that ASEAN might be emulating the European Union experience.

This study will first look at the key issues in Asia including; security, trade policy, foreign policy, international relations and trade and comparing them with the European Union to see the similarities that both have. To answer the research question, the research will examine the trade relations in the European Union and ASEAN as being the possible causes for Southeast Asia developments. 

From the study, there are two findings made. The first one is that there are similarities in the European Union and ASEAN designs. Though it is not indicated that the ASEAN are emulating the European Union, support for the claim that the ASEAN looks at the European Union is provided. Secondly, the strongest factors linking the European Union and the ASEAN are found to be trade and economic relations.

KEY WORDS: Regionalism, ASEAN, European Union, Integration, Cooperation, Institutions

 

Contents

 

CHAPTER ONE 5

INTRODUCTION 5

BACKGROUND INFORMATION 5

Problem Statement 10

Research Objectives 10

Research Question 11

Significance of the Study 11

CHAPTER TWO 12

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW 12

2.1 INTRODUCTION 12

2.2 Economic Integration 12

2.3 European Integration: Peace and Reconciliation 13

2.4 Asia: Integration with no institutionalization 14

2.5 Pragmatism in Asian integration 16

2.6 Need for regional integration in Asia 17

2.7 Comparison of EU-ASEAN Institutions 19

2.8 Regional Policies 20

CHAPTER THREE 22

METHODOLOGY 22

INTRODUCTION 22

CHAPTER FOUR 24

DISCUSSION 24

Regionalism 24

Integration 25

Cooperation 26

Trade policy 27

Security 30

Foreign Policy 31

Comparative Regionalisation Framework 33

Comparison of Regionalism in Asia and European Union 34

Patterns of Regional Integration 39

Geographical and Historical Contexts 41

Economic Linkages between EU and ASEAN 42

Maximising Benefits: EU and ASEAN 45

CHAPTER FIVE 48

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 48

CONCLUSION 48

RECOMMENDATIONS 49

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

After World War 2, the establishment of European Union was one of the world’s largest and successful regional integration projects done. It is the highly evolved regional integration example and acts as a model to Asia and other regions (Yeo, 2010). In Asia, interest in region-building began after the regionalization driven by market forces, and the concept of new regionalism emerged in the 1980s.Financial year 1997/1998 in Asia demonstrated to the policymakers the scope of interdependence, which led to efforts for formal regional- building. 

Efforts to understand the rise of the East Asia regionalism have been accelerated by three factors; increasing world globalisation, Asian financial crisis of 1997, end of cold world war and dissolution of Soviet Union. After the end of cold world war and the dismantle of the Soviet Union, the East Asia regional order that was left in the cold war era no longer existed. Foreign policies and foundations of the pre-existing regional order of all the states were destroyed at the end of the cold world war. To maintain regional stability and to serve countries, interests, the policy-makers and regional countries have to pursue new policies.

The rise of NAFTA (North America Free Trade Area) and the expansion of the European Union and other regional organisations have pressurised the East Asians to have closer relations. Efforts by the United States to expand NAFTA and the continuous enlargement of the European Union have intensified the pressure to the East Asia. Negotiations by the World Trade Organizations have insisted on the need for strong East Asians voices.

The 1997 Asian financial crises also caused the low growth of East Asia regionalism. All the governments in Asia were affected directly and increased the politics of resentments. No practical help was provided by ASEAN and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) to deal with the crises, while the United States and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) worsened the situation.

Distinguishing between regional integration to regional cooperation is important. Regional cooperation defines the policy measures that are undertaken jointly by countries located within a geographical area, who come together with the aim of achieving a welfare, which would not be achieved when done unilaterally. Regional integration is the integration of economies located within a geographical area (Lamberte, 2005). Regional integration may be policy-induced integration, which results from regional cooperation, or market-driven integration, where there is no agreement or coordinated activities by the nations in the region to integrate their economy. For a full integration to occur financial markets are unified among nations, and there is a free flow of goods, services, factors of production among the countries in the region. 

Regionalism and Regionalization are the other important terms to understand in this topic. Regionalization refers to a market-driven integration stimulated by individual economies’ unilateral reforms in a region. For instance, in trade and investment, a combination of a regime with other factors such as cultural, social and geographical factors can stimulate multinational enterprises to initiate a factory for the production of finished goods in different countries within a region. This combination promotes regional production networks characterised by integration, interdependence and increased international specialisation (Lamberte, 2005). Regionalism refers to the formal economic arrangements and economic cooperation consisting of a group of countries aiming at enhancing and facilitating regional integration. An example to explain this is when a group of countries joins a Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) to promote economic integration. 

Regional Trading Arrangements have multiplied since 2000 among the East Asian countries. In 1992, the ASEAN Free Trade Area was announced and implemented in the 1990’s and the adoption of ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint was in 2003.After 2000, China led in the Asian Regionalism in concluding RTA in ASEAN. Japan encouraged a wider grouping of East Asia Summit, which was; New Zealand, Australia, and India. Lack of significant policy- driven regional integration was the striking characteristic of international economic relations. In 1960’s the Association of South East Asian Nations was the only regional agreement. Regional Trading Arrangements were developed in America, and Africa and European Customs Union established (Amineh, M. P., and ebrary, Inc. (2010). Regionalism in Asia changed after 1997 and Asia created ASEAN Economic Community over free trade area target.

South East Asian Nations Association has driven the rate of regionalism so that it can broaden cooperation and get international equivalence in connection to other regions. China’s internal development is a factor that is influencing the development of East Asia region. China is congregated into regional markets and systems after successful economic developmental progress. East Asia regional progress and development has transformed the ‘new regionalism’ nature. This region has put effort to under complex open regionalism, which allows the countries in the region to benefit from the global economic development.

Regional cooperation has been discussed in the East Asia as a means to promote stability, peace development and reconstruction for traditional and newly independent states in the region. Regionalism is prevailing in East Asia and involves regionalization, cooperation, and integration. Regional cooperation describes the East Asian regionalism because it has developed as a process and cooperation between states and other regional actors without any authorised assurance (Liu, 2015). Regional integration refers to two or more states joining and becoming a new entity with one political community. It refers to the institutional and legal relationship where economic transactions take place. Originally, regionalisation was used in accounting for industrial cooperation and economic interactions among regional economies, which were integrated into typical developments and promote conditions for economic policy.

Europe is the most integrated and has state-resembling cooperation. It was the first to be started in early 1950, ‘ and its supranational structure requires member states to conform to the requirements. Europe is seen as a model for integration, whereby others should follow. The resemblance of ASEAN and the EU can be noted in some aspects. ASEAN developed years after the EU, and its growth has been slower making it be far behind the EU. With the significance of interstate cooperation and regionalism, ASEAN direction is in questions and doubt.

Questions about ASEAN future can be answered partially by looking at the organisation. ASEAN for many years was proud of the ASEAN way of integration that was based on consensus, lack of norms to bid them and informal cooperation (Acharya, 2013).  Research shows that ASEAN are trying to emulate Europe and by so doing, the ASEAN follows the EU; many possible benefits will be enhanced.

Economic integration has been used to refer to the formal cooperation of states and transformation of free trade area to a common market, customs union, monetary union and total economic integration.

  • Free trade area involves elimination of trade restrictions
  • Monetary union is the use of single currency or having fixed exchange rate and harmonisation of economic policies.
  • Custom union involves having common external trade policy towards the nonmember countries.
  • Political union refers to having joint political institutions.
  • The common market involves the free movement of products and services among the member states.

In the 1980s and 1990s, regional projects emerged; in North America, there was the creation of (North America Free Trade Agreement) NAFTA. MERCOSUR  (Southern Cone Common Market). In 1989 and 1990, there was the creation of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), and following apartheid, SADC (Southern African Development Community) became a renewal point (Defraigne, Dieter, Higgott, & Lamy, 2006). In the 1980s, European’s common market program boosted political and economic integration in Western Europe and this continued with the majority of the states achieving monetary integration in the late 1990s.With globalisation becoming increasingly contested, regions, regionalisation, and regionalism have become important.

Since ASEAN was formed in 1967, South East Asia regional integration has experienced significant progress. Peace and stability were the key objectives for its creation after the experience of military threats in the cold world war (Murray, 2010) and the main aims included cultural development, acceleration of social progress and economic growth. Managing intra-religion conflicts were and remain its political imperative. ASEAN has a strong commitment to multilateralism and is characterised by its respect for sovereignty. ASEAN has enhanced peace and stability in the organisation, and its members have agreed to confront challenges for instance; terrorism, development, trade liberalisation, poverty reduction, response to natural disasters and pandemics.

Acharya (2009) describes regionalism as a risk to autonomy and sovereignty of the region. The author discusses that norms include behavioural rules and have more than the moral norms. The ASEAN way involves; the principle of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, standards of behaviour and interactions, practice of consultation and consensus, peaceful resolutions of conflicts, and avoidance of confrontation. 

 

Problem Statement

 

This paper aims to explain regionalism in Asia using Europe as the comparison tool. Europe is more integrated than Asia making it be a model for Asia. National authorities’ cooperation in Asia is less intimate and recent, and integration is driven more by markets than the government. The Asians are also more focussed on the economic issues, and they remain light on the institutional issues.

Strategies to regionalism in Asia has been dictated by history, and the countries are less inclined to undermine independence through combining jurisdiction with other neighbouring countries because many Asian countries need to build their identities because they have just emerged from colonialism recently. There are also cases of disparities in social structures, economic, economic developments and political systems in Asia than in Europe. 

Research Objectives

This study aims to discuss the regionalism in Asia in comparison to Europe regarding cooperation and integration. The study focuses on the strategies that Europe uses for it to become a model for other regions. To help guide the study, the following objectives were formulated:

  • To understand regionalism, integration and cooperation and how they are effective in Asia.
  • To compare history and current regionalism in Asia and Europe. 
  • To analyse issues of trade policy, security, immigration and foreign policy in both Europe and Asia

 

Research Question

What institutional similarities and differences are there between Asia and Europe?

 

Significance of the Study

Regionalism is a broad topic that is researched on in different regions. This study focuses on Association of East Asia Nations regionalism compared to the European Union organisation. The research is guided by reviewing various relevant works of literature that have been studied by other authors.

This research will help any individual in understanding the key issues that are connected to regionalism in Asia and the European Union and be able to compare and contrast the two regions. The study will also help in differentiating terms like region, regionalisation, integration, and cooperation. From this, complex issues related to regionalism will be easy to understand.

The study will provide efficient information, which will be helpful to anyone studying regionalism and trade in both Asia and Europe. Communicative and transferable skills will be demonstrated in the discussion of this research.

 

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 INTRODUCTION

 

In this chapter, existing literature on the research problem will be explored. The primary emphasis will be on the regionalism in ASEAN  compared to the European Union experience. Objectives, findings, and analysis of other authors’ work on the same topic will be discussed in this chapter. The chapter will highlight the knowledge on the integration and cooperation in Asia and how it contrasts with the European Union.

2.2 Economic Integration

Political and economic integration are the defining attributes of international economic and political scenes during the onset of the 21st century. Jetschke and Murray (2012) hold that while Asia lags behind as far as political and economic integration becomes concerned, Europe, on the other hand, is fully integrated. Even so, according to Jetschke and Murray (2012), it is unlikely that Asian nations will adopt the EU-Style of political integration; Asia will continue to use bilateral free trade agreements instead of multilateral free trade agreements (Soderbaum & Van Langenhove, 2013). 

According to Soderbaum and Van Langenhove (2013), the EU supports regional integration to a large extent by promoting regional stability, employing a rule-based approach to addressing global challenges, reducing development gaps, supporting economic growth and managing conflicts. The EU strives to extend its values to the world stage through emphasising on a global governance model that becomes rooted on regional integration while its identity thrives on a normative power (Soderbaum & Van Langenhove, 2013). However, the attractiveness of the EU model for regional integration gets reduced by the prevailing political, economic and financial constraints in Europe and around the globe. The model, however, remains the best and most affluent and can indeed be employed by others who wish to achieve such regional integration as the European Union.

Contrary, Asia is the most diverse continent on the planet regarding cultures, traditions, religions, races, languages and populations. In fact, it becomes agreed that there are several, not one Asia. More than half of the global populations exist in Asia; four of the largest global economies (China, Japan, India, and Korea) are in the continent ( Drysdale, 2015). Just like the Europe, Asia has established institutional frameworks.  The blocs are aimed at tackling issues such as economic development, climate change and environmental protection, energy security, transport and freedom of movement (Leggett, 2014). Even so, unlike the case of Europe, these Asian frameworks have faced serious challenges including heterogeneity, demographic disparities, lack of resources, limited political commitment, and consensus, different political systems, and un-uniformed economic development levels among the member states ( Drysdale, 2015). 

2.3 European Integration: Peace and Reconciliation

Reconciliation and political integration in Europe were products of European economic integration, following centuries of conflicts and war. After World War II, Europe was so distressed that its political leaders became conscious of the need to integrate into an attempt to keep the region away from war and any more rivalry within Europe (Malley-Morrison, Mercurio, & Twose, 2013). On top of the list was reconciliation between Germany and France, two countries that had engaged in three within a 50-year period; the reconciliation would lay an essential foundation for European integration. The U.S. contributed largely to this settlement which then bore significant recoveries for the European economies.

Also, Jean Monnet’s vision, which led to the coordination of intra-European activities in the major industries like steel and coal, was a significant tool in the establishment of a united and peaceful Europe (Malley-Morrison, Mercurio, & Twose, 2013).This vision led to the formation of European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Similarly, The Treaty of Rome was an essential element in the road towards a more integrated Europe, because laid out a channel for other goods alongside steel and coal to move freely. The Common Agricultural Community was also established later on, which enabled the management of agricultural products in the European community. In the 1970s, the EC extended its integration to include monetary affairs, which led to the formation of the European Monetary System (EMS) (The European Union, 2016). Before the establishment of the Euro in 1999, the EMS emerged to stabilise the European currencies. According to current literature, the creation of a joint European market promoted increased economic interdependence among the members of the EU hence prompting EU policy makers to work towards increased integration (The European Union, 2016). Furthermore, all countries were in agreement of the significance of achieving political and economic integration in Europe.

2.4 Asia: Integration with no institutionalisation 

Integration in the European Union emerged from an institutionalisation process, whereby European Economic Community was transformed to the European Union in 1992 Maastricht Treaty (Fabbrini, 2015). On the other hand, Asia nations have no regard for institution-building or institutionalisation.  According to these nations, institutionalisation gives birth to loss of sovereignty in the main policy areas. Asian countries hold the belief that regional integration should not become subject to institutionalisation; it imposes legally binding norms, regulations, and standards to the members (Caballero-Anthony, 2014). Arguably, Asian nations will be reluctant in establishing institutionalised economic integrations; they will keep pursuing export-based economic strategies and growth regimes in all their approaches to attracting Foreign Direct Investments.

While the EU model of economic and political institutionalisation surfaces as the ultimate model for regional integration, it is still important to note that Asian countries, with the lack of institutionalization, have been able to maintain a status of no legal-bounded integrations as well as making the integration process quite flexible. Moreover, the Asian nations share a common distrust that upon establishment, regional bureaucratic structures will still depend upon their state sponsors (Kawai, 2014). While forums and regional organisations like Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ARF (ASEAN Regional Forum) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have fostered transnational networks in Asia significantly, they have not yet become established as policy-making institutions.

The weakness of Asian formal institutions in comparison to Europe is two-fold: different domestic state structures and international norms exist between Europe and Asia. For instance, after World War II, the U.S. introduced the multilateralism norm as fundamental to U.S. foreign policy in Europe (Kawai & Wignaraja, 2011). Comparably, the U.S. foreign policy in Asia is defined by bilateral alliances and bilateralism. The U.S. was not interested in supporting or establishing regional institutions that would, in turn, challenge its foreign policies in Asia. Instead, various bilateral alliances became created between the U.S. and Asian countries. Currently, the U.S. reluctantly supports multilateralism in Asia to promote the American political and economic influence.

According to Kawai (2014), the prevailing Asian, domestic state structures are unfavourable for establishing formal institutions with legally-binding laws, rules, and decisions. ASEAN, formalised in 1967 for coordination of economic and foreign policies in Southeast Asia, is the most significant achievement in the Asian region regarding regionalism, cooperation, and integration (Kawai, 2014). The organisation emerged as a response to the Vietnam War; for security and political reasons as well promoting cooperation against communism in Asia. Although ASEAN became a legally-binding body in 2009, it operates under the doctrine of independence, respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the political affairs of the founding nations. The ASEAN is therefore not capable of influencing member states as far as policy-making is concerned. The EU, on the other hand, has highly rationalised bureaucracies, making it possible to handle formal institutions and public law.

Some scholars like Caballero-Anthony (2014), have labelled ASEAN a living and breathing Asian miracle; others refer to it as being among the most affluent regional integration projects while others think it is merely a talking shop with minimal impact (Caballero-Anthony, 2014). Over the 40 years of its existent, ASEAN has mostly been successful in the field of economics; decisions within ASEAN are through consensus, primarily resulting to the lowest common denominator method.

ASEAN’s regional accomplishments are often subject to debate. While there have been significant achievements in uniting the region and avoiding regional conflicts, the member states often put domestic concerns ahead of common interests. According to many analysts, ASEAN should become viewed as more of regional cooperation as opposed to regional integration. In fact, Asian countries have less regard for regional integration; most member states are more oriented towards nation building and national identity. In essence, as opposed to superseding sovereignty, ASEAN is consolidation instrument; shielding member states from foreign intervention. What then, is the need to pursue unrealistic regional ambitions?

2.5 Pragmatism in Asian integration

The benefits of regional integration have not become fully appreciated especially combinations within a given geographical area such as the EU. According to Rüland (2011), regionalism, and regional alliances are obstacles to the globalisation of political and economic relations. Such scholars present the EU as an exception in a world that is quickly embracing economic interactions and erosion of national borders in geographically defined regions. For instance, in 1990, scholars in Asia coined the term “soft integration”; an approach to integration from a Japanese perspective that stands in contrast with the European “hard integration” that gets established on politically defined standards. Asian countries have been unwilling to adopt European models of integration and instead apply methods of “open integration” as well as “open regionalism”; meaning that countries in Asia only come together when there is a shared and beneficial interest (Rüland, 2011). The approach exists on pragmatic and loose integration, with no legally-binding decisions. From this approach and concerning current literature, this “open regionalism” concept indicates that Asian initiatives for regional economic integration pay less attention to geographically defined regions. Moreover, the approach leans towards the establishment of integration processes that lack the basis for any formal institutions. 

Currently, integration in Asia gets best described as largely defined by markets. Furthermore, this integration is, for Asian nations, only deems significant if it produces economic benefits for all the countries involved; the region is yet to acknowledge the benefits of political integration. 

2.6 Need for regional integration in Asia

An increase in Asia’s share of the world trade can only be fostered through further economic integration regardless of whether it will be institutionalised or not. During the 21st century, Asia has increased its share of global trade, an indication that stronger free trade agreements will go a long way in promoting trade share in the world stage. Considering gross national income and population, China, South Korea, and Japan surpass the European Union and the North American Free Trade Area (Hsu, 2016). While further integration in Asia can foster economic cooperation, it is a significant tool in dealing with challenges like poverty, water shortage, environmental pollution, and deforestation. Also, greater integration will provide a sustainable energy supply in Asia, notably China which has an ever-increasing demand for crude oil, having overtaken Japan in this context. In fact, China was the largest oil importer in 2015, accounting for about 17% of total global crude oil imports (Hsu, 2016). Moreover, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), by 2020, East Asia will become the largest crude oil net importer.

Integrating Asia further economically will give the region’s policy makers a platform for collective negotiations of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI); decreased freedom will also limit the extent of short-term capital flows. It became speculated that these capital flows were among the leading causes of the Asian financial crisis of 1997/1998 (Jetschke & Murray, 2012). It was during this crisis that the Asian nations attempted to integrate regional monetary policies, albeit failure in establishing an Asian Monetary Fund (AMF) that would be meaningful for the provision of emergency funds for Asian nations during instances of economic crises (Caballero-Anthony, 2014). Following the crisis, Asian governments comprehended the importance of a regional monetary policy; leading to the formation of initiatives such as Miyazawa and Chang Mai that advocated for currency swaps among regional and central Asian banks. Similarly, the Asian bond market got established in 2003; an idea from Thailand’s Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, in 2002 (Berkofsky, 2005). The fund aims at encouraging the issuance of bonds by Asian governments for reinvestment within the region.

Western authors, according to Berkofsky(2005), emphasises that absence of democratic structures in Asia countries has contributed largely to obstructing regional integration in Asia. Asian countries operate on one-party democracy, which is in itself a challenge to the establishment of a meaningful regional integration. Western policy-makers holds that democracy is a prerequisite for legally-binding and codified political and economic alliances. Conversely, Asian governments employ the “network style” of integration (Berkofsky, 2005). The approach pursues integration through interpersonal and informal relations. Even so, the Asian crisis of 1997/1998 displayed the flaws of the approach and the need for more accountable and transparent domestic and regional banking and financial systems.

Asian corporate governance, even in the midst of the progress attained during the aftermath of the 1997/1998 financial crisis, is still underdeveloped while the financial and banking systems have limited accountability and transparency.

2.7 Comparison of EU-ASEAN Institutions

The EU comprises of many institutions including Council of Ministers, European Parliament, European Court of Justice, European Economic and Social Committee, Council of Ministers, Committee of Regions and European Central Bank (Best, 2010). To begin with, the council of ministers is the main body as the decision maker. The cabinet convenes once every month to discuss matters related to inter-governmental cooperation within the European Union region; home affairs, justice, security and foreign policies, policy and law making (Cini & Borragán, 2016). Moreover, there is a bi-annual meeting involving heads of member states, foreign ministers and the president of the commission. While there is an equivalent body for ASEAN, there is only one meeting per year, while the body has no legislative mandates.

The European Commission is another fundamental institution in the European Union, serving and acting as a communal executive arm, initiating public policies as well as defending the interests of the community about the directions of the council of ministers (Cini & Borragán, 2016). It has a legislative mandate of drafting proposals; the ASEAN region has no institution equivalent or comparable to the European Commission. The European Parliament is the third body, which functions without national borders of the founding members (Hix & Høyland, 2013). ASEAN has no such body. Lastly, the European Union has a court of justice comprised of 13 judges alongside six advocate generals. The body acts as an interpreter and assessor of the validity of the European Union laws. ASEAN has no institution equal to or comparable to the court of justice. According to the founding treaty, the only possibility in ASEAN would be to establish a high council; the heads of the member states are crowned the ministers of the Council over time (Caballero-Anthony, 2014). 

While there are no channels of making formal decisions in ASEAN, the EU, through the European Council, makes decisions on the subject matter, unanimity or a qualified majority (The European Union, 2016). When the latter gets employed in decision making, the EU ceases to function as an intergovernmental body. Lack of formal decision-making channels in ASEAN leads to decreased motivation towards regional integration; it takes a crisis or external pressure for the region to establish traditional approaches to integration. Comparably, the EU relies on its member states’ willingness for institutionalisation and enlargement as opposed to external pressure. 

2.8 Regional Policies

The EU establishes regional policies about well-defined policy instruments and targets. Instruments like structural and cohesion funds become employed in checking regional disparities for current and potential member states of the European Union (Bomberg, Peterson, & Corbett, 2012). The cohesion fund becomes mainly used for promotion of solidarity as well as economic and social cohesion amongst the EU member states through initiatives such as infrastructure, transport and environmental conservation and protection (Bomberg, Peterson, & Corbett, 2012). In ASEAN, countries are brought together by sub-regional cooperation; aimed at poverty reduction as well as reducing development gaps among the member-states. The Asian Development Bank is the primary source of funds for ASEAN; not forgetting that the bank is not an ASEAN initiative, compared to the European Investment Bank which was established by the European Union. The reliance of ASEAN on an institution that it did not create indicates a national as opposed to a supra-national approach to integration.

Also, the European region is more homogenous compared to a widely heterogeneous Asia. This heterogeneity is depicted in religion (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism) as well as in the political realm ( Drysdale, 2015). On political affiliations, Asia’s definition gets best described by autocracies, monarchies and also democracies. The definition is in contrast with the EU which is democratic and dominated by Christianity. This heterogeneity in Asia makes it quite challenging for the region to achieve greater regional economic integration.

 

CHAPTER THREE

METHODOLOGY

INTRODUCTION

The method of study selected for this study will be described in this chapter. This chapter outlines the strategy for the research, reason why the method was chosen, evaluation and eligibility of the publications used. Secondary data will be employed in the study to conduct a literature review on regionalism. Critical analysis on books on regionalism in Asia and Europe and information got from other sources will be used for comparison.

A literature review from journal articles, government websites, books, and reports from credible sources will be used in the research. The literature review will help in analysing existing knowledge of regionalism, and the information corrected used to answer the research questions.

Systematic Literature Review

The following steps are involved in a systematic literature review.

Research Questions Identification

The researcher formulates a question, which defines the scope of the researcher’s interest in a clear way. Terminologies used are cited from existing literature so that the work of other researchers is not replicated and to help in the development of research.

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

The researcher will review case studies and surveys done by others and will analyse data gathered from government bodies on regionalism. Data from both Europe and Asia will be compared.

Use of databases such as; journal articles, books, information from credible sources, government websites and other source giving relevant information will be involved.

 

Study Selection

Pre-defined criteria will be used in the selection of study. Studies, which are not related to the research, will not be included in the title and the abstract. Inclusion and exclusion criteria will be used to screen the full-text studies and retain the relevant topics. The screening will also help in preventing duplication of versions with similar contents.

 

Extracting Data

Relevant data and information will be obtained using spreadsheets. Decisions on whether to include and clarify other fields or existing ones will be enhanced by the use of extraction tool.

Results presentation

Detailed methodology and finding will be presented in a clear way, which will allow a review to be done in future. Recommendations will be provided and will be based on existing evidence. Recommendations will give directions for further research to fill in the gaps on the topic.

Search Strategy

Database to be used in the study includes; Google Books, Ebscohost.com, bookzz.org (online books), Sage journals and government publications.

Search terms

The following search terms will be used in the study; regionalism, integration, cooperation, regionalism in Asia and Europe, trade policy, immigration, security, foreign policy, among others. By using these search terms, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced as the search terms narrowed down. Those fields and sub-field that are in the research work are defined by the search terms. To give relevant information, identify key words that are common in the publication.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

DISCUSSION

In this age of globalisation, there is an open debate on the issues concerning regional integration on whether it is useful instruments to reach a globalised economy. Asia has been contemplating on the advantages and disadvantages of the regional integration (Defraigne, Dieter, Higgott, & Lamy, 2006). Since 1997 crises, there are signs of progress to an economically integrated region in East Asia, which, exceed the standard policies of trade integrations. Regional markets are established from country markets, decline and elimination of tariffs and cross-border investments, are some of the moves that are fostering the inter-regional cooperation. Integration promoting structure is well shown by the Association of East Asian Nations( ASEAN) and most specifically by the ASEANN+3, which includes; ASEAN +Japan, China, and Korea.

 

Regionalism

Regionalism is conceptualised by policy makers concerning the European Union and political and strategic learning emulation is among the major features about regionalism in the world. Region building elites have learned from the Europeans time lag between the construction of regional orders and the developments. The EU’s institutional complexity, policy, and longevity are viewed by many as being more than just an international organisation.

Regionalism has gained more popularity in the East Asia, and studies on regionalism have become common in the recent years. In the cold world war era, regionalism arrived in Southeast Asia in with institutional form, and its logic linked with the powers of strategies and less of public awareness. Cooperation promotion was a plan of individual nations of the sub-regions and regionalism did not exist in the Northern Asia. Liu (2015) discussed that regionalism sources have grown in East Asia over the years and attributed to by the increase in interdependence, sub-regional economic grouping, cross-border economic interactions and experience of regional organisations. From the study, East Asia has had transformations in political development, and regional economic and Regionalism is closely related to this.

New regionalism has a different concept to that of during the cold war, whereby, novelty resides in its ability as an alternative to the hegemonic stability. Telò (2016) discussed that new regionalism and globalisation are not only economic but are also political processes. The author described the two of being concepts that are involved in the weakening of barriers to trade and strengthening interdependence. This is shown by; uncertainties of global multi-laterism, strategic traders, trade blocs, and by current asymmetries. New regionalism according to Telò (2016), matters inwardly by conditioning states and companies’ approaches, and outwardly by contributing to the changing international system.

Unilateralism and unipolarism, local fragmentation and nationalists are challenges that are provoked by fears of marginalisation, and they can play directly or indirectly to support or conflict roles in the development of new regionalism and regional cooperation. The author concluded the study by saying that regionalism may enhance international cooperation because bargaining between regional blocs is easier and efficient than between states. However, regionalism may create less cooperative regime.

Integration

Regional economic integration is becoming popular in the world today. In the 19th century, there was the emergence of agreement on trade preferences, which was due to the increase in trade intensity. In the 20th century, integration increased in different areas including; North America and Europe (WTO, 2011).In Asia, regional integration processes are based on the development of market links between countries in the region. Through support by state policies, enterprises use internationalisation strategies and invest in other neighbouring countries heavily. Economic ties in East Asia initially, used traditions, which were complemented by capital flows. In the 1990s, integration increased due to problems Asian financial crisis which was in 1997 (WTO, 2011). Production ties have developed due to the transnational corporations’ activities in Asia, and these links are today among the significant economic relationship that are connecting the analysed countries 

De Grauwe, and Zhang (2016) discussion show that East Asia over the past years has gained economic transformations and listed among dynamic regions and integrated areas in the world. East Asia regionalism, reflecting the economies diversity, follows different patterns with Europe and other regions of the world. East Asia regional integration has been brought about by market forces and development of advanced production sharing, whereby China has been instrumental.

In the study, the author explains that Economic integration in East Asia has developed into new international specialisation marked by complex sharing of products and trade between the regions. This development is due to the East Asian countries’ intensifying cooperation and the growing economic interdependence among the countries. China’s rapid rise has important impacts on the East Asia global economy, and in economic integration and over the last three decades, the economic reforms have changed the country into significant manufacturing and trading nation in the world.

Cooperation

Chia, S. Y. and Plummer, M. G. (2015) stated that cooperation schemes started in 1977.Asia expansion intra-regional trade and international trade has enhanced a remarkable growth in its development. To exploit the international trade benefits, poverty alleviation, integration and cooperative efforts in lowering the transaction costs in the international trade have increased in the recent years (Tan, & Acharya, 2015). Regional cooperation was pursued by the Asian countries to recover from the financial crises of 1998/1999.Asia’s foreign investments and trade flows have increased due to its market-driven integration, regional cooperation frameworks, infrastructure development, incorporation into international production networks and outward-oriented networks.

Asian and non-Asian multinational corporations have linked many parts of the region by developing international supply chains. Developments have been supported by financial integrations through enhancing innovative financial instruments and access to credit (Brooks, & Stone, 2010). Regional cooperation allows regional investments in trade-related infrastructure projects through strengthening economic integration and growth.

Delays in customs clearance, poor governance, high freight costs, slow port loading, and unofficial payment solicitations generate trade barriers. Discretionary powers, information asymmetries and institutional bottlenecks including financial, legal, administrative give rise to activities at various transaction steps, which impose costs. These costs are reduced by cooperation outbound and inbound shipments (Fort, & Webber, 2008). Cooperation in Preferential Trade and Investment Agreement, which enhances destination’s attractiveness for foreign investments and strengthen structural reforms, can influence domestic policy actions leading to efficiency, equity, and growth.  Regional cooperation helps to increase benefits from combination with other nations in the international competition efficiency gains.

Trade policy

Formal economic institutionalisation has been adopted by the East Asian community, and the change was brought about with regards to Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Preferential Trade Agreement framework was signed by China in February 2003, with ten nations having pledged free trade by 2010.Japan also signed the PTA framework with ASEAN in October 2003. In May, South Korea signed the PTA of its own with the ASEAN, which led to ASEAN+3. EAS, which has three countries including; New Zealand, Australia and India together with ASEAN+3 have been having meetings  (Aggarwal, & Lee, 2011). USA has also been supporting the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) through sponsorship by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and (TPP) Trans-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which will help in connecting the existing and creating new bilateral trade agreements among Asian Pacific nations.

Understanding cross-national variance, researchers are supposed to give attention to politics in the USA and East Asian countries, which involves; NGO in the region, business groups, labour unions and interplay of government agencies (Aggarwal, & Lee, 2011).The USA and East Asian countries have adopted measures, which they use to regulate trade flows. From the study, East Asian countries lack well-institutionalised organisations like the ones in the European countries. To manage their trade relations, East Asia countries rely on the melange of semi-institutional and institutional measures.

Rapid growth in international trade has been a strategy for successful growth and development in East Asian countries. Trade has been significant in the growth of the region, which has led to poverty eradication. Intra-regional trade has grown at a higher rate than trade with other markets. Kharas and Krumm( 2004) discussed that trade profiles in East Asian countries have become mutually complementary, which is comparable to NAFTA and USA. Gaps between poor and rich countries are the major causes of regional inequalities. To address income inequality in Eat Asia, institutions and policies that contribute to low-income countries’ fuller integration should be used, and this contributes to a stable religion.

Policymakers today see investment integration and trade to be among the key features to strategy. Although after Asian economic crises there was the emergence of some trade barriers, these trade barriers were temporary and minor. According to Kharas and Krumm (2004), the Asian economic crises developed new impetus for openness instead of more protection. Trends in composition and magnitude of intra-East Asian trade need to be integrated further. When comparing conditions in East Asia, there are similarities with those countries, which previously implemented successful regional arrangements as NAFTA and the European Union. Market driven regional integration have been achieved in East Asia in a high scope, but bin regionalism, economic integration and cooperation agreements and arrangements have traditionally been limited.

In East Asia, Multilateral and Bilateral trade agreements are becoming more involved. Kharas and Krumm (2004) distinguish regionalism and economic regionalization, whereby regionalism is the economic integration and economic cooperation arrangements and agreements among countries, which are designed to gain economic growth by trading, investing, liberalisation and facilitation. On the other hand, regionalization is the greater economic interdependence, which is as a result of; migration flows, investment, increased intraregional trade, and technology with no formal cooperation framework. Since the mid-1980s, regionalization or market-driven integration has occurred in East Asia through investment linkages and rise in trade (Kharas, & Krumm, 2004). This process is due to unilateral reforms in individual economies. It is also as a result of ‘flying geese’, which involves moving production processes to less expensive regions as domestic rate increases. 

Preferential Trade Agreement help in the economic efficiency achieved from trade liberalisation. Members of the Preferential Trade Agreement allocates their resources to sectors, which have the comparative advantage to the. Economies of scale and attraction of other foreign direct investments are enhanced due to this combined market. Agreement of China to the WTO will increase competitiveness and China’s ability to win market shares in ASEAN member countries’ domestic market. ASEAN as a whole will benefit from China’s accession (Katada, 2010). The restructuring will provide a momentum for the creation of new religion production network, which will be exported to developed countries and growing markets in East Asia.

Security

Asia’s security problems have become a critical area of study by scholars of international relations, policymakers and the media inside and outside the region (Hoadley, & Rüland, 2006). The nature of security has been changing in Asia since the end of cold war in 1990.Asian financial crises that happened in 1997 and 1998 shows the importance of having an economic security, which has implications on political and international securities. Additionally, counter-terrorism campaign raised by the Asian Government, the attack against the USA and subsequently against the Asian targets have raised worries about terrorism. Exhaustion of natural, resources, worsening atmospheric pollution, economic hardships, surging of illegal migrants, displacement of people, and armed conflicts are among the event that has signalled the dynamic nature of security and hence attracting measure to meet the threats. Interstate military rivalries including; China and Taiwan, North and South Korea, India and Pakistan are among the familiar security threats, which consume human and economic resources that could be utilised for social and economic programs. 

Asia is known to be rich in religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity and if all these are not well managed, they may cause secession, civil wars, pogroms, and riot. Ethnic conflicts make the similar case with terrorism, which can be exploited by entrepreneurial piracy and organised crime (Hoadley, & Rüland, 2006). Physical and economic security is hence undermined when there is the combination of this terrorism and ethnic strife, which leads to the generation of refugees.

Changing nature of security challenges have defined trends towards closer security cooperation (Anthony, & Cook, 2013).Contemporary security concerns such as; extremism, poverty, infectious diseases and environmental degradation require a multi-stakeholder response and cannot be addressed by military alone. The nature of transnational problems emphasises the need for states to cooperate to find policies by involving stakeholders in the decision-making processes. These issues include migration, health, security, transnational crimes, energy and environment, food and water, and natural disasters.

Asia’s trends are in contrast to those of the Europe (Gill, & Schiffer, 2008). Europe is economically integrated, and multilateral processes and institutions are developed. Like Asia, security and economic agendas of the European Union are changing. Capital markets, labour, and globalised commodity are among the challenges that are affecting the competitiveness of many European Union countries.

Foreign Policy

Third world countries led by Africa and the Middle East have revived the comparative study on the foreign policy, which lagged in the 1970s.This move aims to bring Southeast Asia region to the same combination of area study. Attempts to make a new framework for foreign policy to be applied in Southeast Asia are explained by the fact that no work compares all the states in the region (Gill, & Schiffer, 2008). Use of advanced political economy frameworks in the recent studies have focused on the treatments of multinational corporations rather than encompassing the full range of foreign policy. Foreign policies, which are either: neutralist, Pro-Soviet or Pro-US can be found ad with this diversity, for Southeast Asia to be conceived as a region despite having a large part of it being covered by regional organisations, which are active.

Southeast Asia diversity does not make it difficult to hold many variables in trying to recognise foreign policy, but this difference makes it be third world representative as a whole. Foreign trade policy is connected to security policy, and trends and events in the external environment influence the domestic political arrangements (Wurfel, & Burton, 1990). Foreign policy on a comparative basis can evaluate on how a particular state can adapt, control or succumb to external penetrations or challenges. Strategies range from exclusionist to those to decisions and rules that exclude only certain kinds of foreign penetration.

Promoting, guiding, controlling and monitoring processes and decisions relating to the national welfare is a major problem of foreign policies. As some regimes are making ties between political and commercial questions, welfare controversial are linked to issues in security and autonomy domains. For instance, National Trade policy can be an important element of national security.

Empirical and theoretical significant contributions have been made in understanding foreign policy in Europe. This pattern of behaviour leads to conclusions that those states that restricted traditional foreign policy have moved towards accepting standard action value. Current functioning and European integration are examples of establishing norms of behaviours and propagating them by regional institutions (Wong, & Hill, 2011). Respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are key factors that EU member states consider when determining how the state is organised and how it functions. European Union member states have agreed to strengthen their democracy, norms and human rights in European Union foreign policy. 

To encourage other countries to abide by their norms, European Union uses conditionality in its foreign policy. The rule of law and democracy are used as incentives for European Union membership so that certain conditions of human rights are fulfilled (Wong, & Hill, 2011). Promoting norms beyond the European Union is challenging and represents foreign policy weakness in the European Union. For instance, European Union has expanded norms in different standard with regards to the strategic significance of the nation in question.

Norm building through multilateral institutions in Asia is different with the European Union regarding their standards and how they promote them. Institutions in Asia embody norms more than they generate and promote them (Gill, & Schiffer, 2008). Creation and promotion of norms in the ASEAN countries is a way of community building, and these norms are different to those of Europe and in policy making, they are expressed differently. The ASEAN norms of not interfering with states affairs, sovereignty, and economic activities are core to ASEAN identity.

Comparative Regionalisation Framework

Regionalisation can be defined as the process of adapting to the norm of a state, policy content, identity, policy styles, policy making, political opportunity structures, and economy to shape and align interests, priorities and norms at regional level, which may thereafter develop, dissolve or reach stasis (Laursen, 2016).  From this definition, four independent variables can be analysed to generate the necessary understanding of regionalisation. 

The first independent variable is ‘genesis.’ Genesis asks the reason a state joins and proceed to participate in the regionalisation process. It also questions the objectives of the state and how inclusions and exclusion are defined and how they are determined (Laursen, 2016).  Through those investigations, the scholars can identify similarity of regionalisation process and create the relationship between this and region’s identity and membership. 

Functionality is the second independent variable and investigates the functions of a region once established. Functionality also investigates on the individuals who are involved in the decision-making process and their influence on the process. It also asks the range of issues that are addressed by a region and whether they change with time (Laursen, 2016). If they change with time, functionality seeks to understand why they change and the decisions made. It also aims to know if a region is designed to eliminate or to proceed with the bilateral relations among the nations. The region’s implementation capacities and how members consider their performances is another factor that functionality investigates on.

The third independent variable is socialisation, which checks whether a region has any effects on the normative contexts and the ideational on its elements parts of the mass and elite levels (Laursen, 2016). Population growth is also investigated on whether it is growing or decreasing with time. Another aspect studied on is if there is regionalisation of political identity and the effects it makes on the political behaviour.

The impact is the fourth independent variable. It investigates on the output and the products gained from the regionalisation process. Other than the socialisation variable which focuses on the ideational outcomes, the impact is focused on materials (Laursen, 2016). It is centred on global, political economy, policies and structure of its members, or on the region’s effects on the domestic political economy. It also investigates on whether the region has made any impacts on the third nations and if it has how it has done it. Relationship of the component states and the external influence is also investigated upon.

 

Comparison of Regionalism in Asia and the European Union 

Katzenstein regards Asia and Europe as significant sites of economic and geopolitical interactions. He considers that both regions exhibit porousness, which leads to forces of internationalisation and globalisation. Katzenstein compares Europe and Asia stating that regionalism in Europe is political and formal and reliance is on legal norms and social bargains. In Asia, regionalism has characteristics of economic and informal, and reliance is on ethnic or national capitalism and market transactions. Another difference that Katzenstein describes is the ‘Core States,’ which defines the states that play roles in an organising region while serving the United States interests.

Europe and Asia also differ in terms of attitudes towards sovereignty. In Europe, regionalism is intrusive and definite than in Southeast Asia, where sovereignty is pooled, and they are focussing on multilateral arrangements, which characterise the security order of Europe (Katzenstein, 2007). What accounts for this difference is that European partners were viewed by United States policymakers as equal members of a shared community, whereas in Asia, they were considered an inferior community. The United States view Europe as the desirable region for its multilateral engagement than Asia due to the greater Trans-Atlantic community than the Trans-Pacific community. 

Katzenstein describes three aspects that describe the differences between Europe and Asia, which include; state structures, regime types and state power. Regionalism in Europe consists of relatively equal neighbours, composed of states with well-functioning bureaucracies and similar system types. Political systems in Asia differ widely, and the intra-Asians relations are hierarchical.

Another difference between regionalism in Asia and Europe is that Europe is led by strong states including France and Germany, while Asia is led by lesser states in terms of cohesion and capability. Regionalism in Europe was due to the legitimacy of nationalism while regionalism in Asia was founded on aspirations of nationalist leaders in the region. Regionalism and nationalism in Europe clashed while Asia was based on a harmonious relationship.

 Many regional bodies are established due to the desire for peace and stability. European Union’s legitimating values and fundamental achievement was to develop a peaceful community and involved reconciliation with the former enemies. Through that reconciliation, durability, and success of the entire integration project has been sustained. The European Union has promoted itself as a security community, and this is attributed to by the fact that war between its members is not possible (Doidge, 2016). This has enhanced confidence building measure in the history of Europe. The European Union is characterized by institutional strategies to community and region building, which has entailed to the economic community with the assistance of the binding legislation, and security and political security with assistance by the United States.

The European Union has involved identity, norms, and values and encompasses with the establishment of the common market, European citizenship and identity, common agricultural policy, customs unions, and sharing of competencies among the European Union bodies. One of the most important features of European Union is its sovereignty, which is pooled by the 27 member states.

Advanced regional integration involves non-economic and economic inter-linkages. Asia has a high degree of open regionalism, limiting the relevance of European Union in this context. European Union common market is based on four freedoms, which includes; movement of labour, goods, capital and services 

According to Murray (2010), a region is defined in terms of geographical proximity; shared land mass or island, or shared borders. This provides a basis for understanding a region. In the European Union, they have set of rules, which must be followed before joining the union. This criterion is referred to as Copenhagen criteria. The rule of law, conditions of democracy and a functioning market are at the base. They are then followed by the thirty-one chapters of administrative, legal and institutional patrimony. Definition of the region in Asia depends on the policy or sector under discussion (Murray, 2010). ASEAN and APEC are the major economic bodies, while multi-lateral regional security body is the ARF. Political cooperation consists of the ASEAN+3 and EAS. All these are important bodies, and now the maturing regional bodies under discussion includes the ASEAN+8, which includes; ASEAN and China, South Korea, New Zealand, Japan, United States and Australia.

Processes of regionalism in Asia and Europe according to scholarly agreements have occurred due to different reasons, different historical contexts and have different outcomes. In Europe, regional cooperation has been driven by policy imperatives and peace imperatives, due to the geography and history of Europe. In contrast, regional cooperation in Asia has been motivated by markets.

Integration in Europe is viewed to be internally oriented while that in Asia is viewed to be externally oriented and focussed on external spheres and the need to be open on the global market (Murray, 2010). This gives the main difference between open regionalism and closed regionalism and has been suggested because of Asia’s lack of identity or shared values, which were crucial in the establishment of the European Union.

In Asia, there are political, social and economic disparities than in Europe as well as differences in development levels, religion and democratic structure and norms. Europe and Asia in this regard, have different patterns of policies and politics. Nationalism and regionalism have had a symbiotic relationship in Asia while as in Europe; regionalism arose as a result of nationalism failure (Katzenstein, 2007). National- state roles differ in the two regions as shown when focussing on the sovereignty in Asia’s regionalism key analysis. The significance of sovereignty is summarized by non-interference principle in other states, for instance, application of solidarity as a norm the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and ASEAN+3.

According to scholars, Asians can learn from the European Union experience in a number of ways and suggest that Asia can adopt governance principles as the; European Union ways of subsidiarity and consensus, measures to effectively use regional institutions in dealing with insecurity matters, efforts to deal with trans-border issues, involving civil societies in the consultation of regional integrations and ways to develop integrations, and institutions to enhance compliance.

In Europe, regional cooperation is wide in scope and is thorough in the legal norms and formal institutions. Negotiations and formal treaties introduce increased interactions in Europe making Europe’s regionalism to be policy-induced or politics led. In contrast, Asian regionalism is motivated by the growth of economic transactions and informal interactions without state based negotiation or policy coordination.

Development proposals for Asian regionalism insist on the formalisation of existing structures. It is suggested to have Asian Community, which will incorporate socio-cultural forums, economic forums, and security, and is evident from the 2008 ASEAN charter and reports of ASEAN eminent persons group. There have also been calls for security issues and increased cooperation, to enhance security, peace, and stability in the region. 

Leadership and membership are two significant challenges that need to be determined and resolved in all the architectural designs. Regional body’s objectives should be sustained so that distinct advantages are presented to the participating states. For an effective regional architecture in Asia; the following elements have been advanced.

  • Capable of facilitating trade and investments.
  • Should promote regional security.
  • Help in building East Asian community.
  • Should permit government heads to discuss common challenges.

 

Patterns of Regional Integration

Economic and political terms can be used to explain motivational forces that are behind the regional integration. Regional integration lies on different economic grounds: Relationships with neighbouring countries stimulate increased trade and investment relations. Neighbour’s economic relations do not require interdependence like the World Trade Organisations does. Global liberalization strengthens the ability and efficiency to compete in different regions. Impacts of savings in transport costs and regional economies of scale lead to dynamic impacts that lead to economic growth. Compared to the United States and Asia, the resurgence of European Union through single market would ensure competition in Europe. 

To increase competitiveness, it is important to eliminate obstacles to free movement of services, goods, and people across the national borders. The objectives of single market were to eliminate trade barriers, establishing a large domestic market, whereby global companies could be developed and bringing about market integration. This would suggest restructuring companies and industries in terms of economies of scale and comparative advantage. High profits and reduced prices would result hence benefiting the competitiveness of a business and also research and development.

AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area) abolishment of customs duties is the first step in the establishment of Asia economic cooperation. According to Peng in (Telò, 2016), informal cooperation is in three forms 

  • Sub-regional zones, which incorporates cooperation based on geographical proximity for instance in ASEAN
  • Production networks based on economic division of labour, which encompasses cooperation lines of industrial production
  •  and ethnic business systems that represent cooperation in ethnic lines. 

These three forms according to Peng are usually overlooked as significant regional cooperation forms. However, they drive trade and investment in the region, in the absence of formal economic institutions. The importance of these forms exceeds that of the formal cooperation. Southeast Asia informal types of cooperation increased the developments of policy communities in the ASEAN. Formal and informal policies have continuously developed in ASEAN. Within the study of European Union policy making, the same kind of multi-actor, multi-channel and multi-level informal and formal activities have been found. The concept of ‘policy-networks’ has been introduced by many authors to describe connections between European Union policy makers and different interests.

Non-institutional or informal cooperation has been the Asian-Pacific dominant form of regional cooperation. The demands for the South-east Asian nations have been well served for the International economic cooperation. Southeast Asia through ASEAN has set a successful model for the new form of regional cooperation. As a regional political organisation, ASEAN has been successful since the late 1980s, though the progress has been slow in the economic arena. Political and economic cooperation increased in the 1990s, and the development has proceeded on in an intergovernmental way.

Intergovermentalism and Neo-functionalism are integration theories that are used to explain integration in Europe. For the past 40 years, spill-over that was advocated by neo-functionalism in ASEAN has not been visible limiting the theory’s explanatory power (Soesastro, & Findlay, 2006). On the other hand, inter-govermentalism regards the states to be protective of national interests and sovereignty, and relative bargaining power shapes their interactions whereby larger states have influence over the outcomes. 

Cockerham in (Telò, 2016), argues that the best theory to explain integration in ASEAN is inter-governmentalism. Various factors support the intergovernmental approach: Head of states in the ASEAN summit being the supreme policy-making institutions represent the inter-governmental approach on the decision -making. ASEAN continuity is reflected as driven by policy makers preferring non-supranational institution. Emphasis on consensus and consultation of decision making reinforces this feature. ASEAN endurance is discussed considering that they perceive the national interest being served through cooperation. Integration pace also indicates they are careful on their sovereignty and that they are not willing to delegate authority to supranational institutions despite the fact that they could get benefits from the cooperation.

ASEAN lack of sanctioning mechanism and having weak security structure shows that members perceive procedural and substantive limits to their cooperation as their best interest. Constructivity assumes that states identity and interests are endogenous meaning that they have an internal origin. A place for countries to develop shared identity can be provided by the institutions and integration is based on values and norms that establish regional identity over time. ASEAN identity according to constructivistic has been established through repeated instructions over time. Acharya in (Telò, 2016), argued that regional community is established from shared norms and that states still maintain sovereignty while complying with the ASEAN’s regulations. The newly independent states that are searching for identity according to Acharya can convincingly explain ASEAN’s origin.

 

Geographical and Historical Contexts

United States has played a significant role in shaping both the European Union and ASEAN. Establishment of EAS and ARF shows the interest of ASEAN member states and other participants to have the United States remaining in the region (Gilson, 2002). Asian members are seeking to have the United States play roles as counterweight due to the increasing influence from China. The United States is likely to maintain the relationship as a security provider with the Asians. China is a potential rival to the United States hegemon, and as it joins the ASEAN, it poses potential threats to some Asian nations for example Vietnam.

China will play a vital role in the ASEAN +3 in the economic regionalism. This has been reinforced by the ASEAN-China FTA (Plummer, & Chia, 2010). The overwhelming economic influence of China on the region is presenting a challenge for multilateralism and economic regionalism, which is a significant goal of the European Union Policy. With regards to inter-regionalism, there is need to study on the meeting held by the European Union and Asia, to check how significant it is as a mechanism and process of developing agendas and shared understanding. The study also assists in understanding the various socialisation forms between the Asia states and the European Union. The patterns, designs, and existence of inter-regional mechanisms of treaty style agreement, summitry and dialogue need further investigations.

ASEM will continue to have relevance since it represents around 60% of the world’s total population and the Gross Domestic Products. More concerns will rise in the future regarding the ASEM’s processes and mechanisms and how multi-laterism and inter-regionalism can be presented.

 

Economic Linkages between EU and ASEAN

Direct commercial connections between ASEAN and EU were established by the European Maritime powers eastward excursions from the 15th century. Colonial relationship series developed and persisted until the post-war era. Southeast Asia was dominated by many aspects of European firms over that period. For the recent years, ASEAN and EU have become partners in trade and investments (Dent, 1999). EU and ASEAN relation dates back to 1980 when they signed Co-operation Agreement, which represented the treaties made by different regional countries to one another. This agreement stressed on the economic cooperation, commercial and technical assistance. It also gave a chance to remake their relations framework with the ex-colonial nations and promote EU in the region.

The agreement would also help the ASEAN states to diversify in their external relations and not only in the Asia-Pacific borders. Initial ASEAN’s concerns were reconciliation and nation building but also strived to maintain beneficial co-operations with regional and international organisations, which possessed the same objectives and purposes (Coleman, & Underhill, 2012). Meeting that was held in 1971 by foreign ministers showed the ASEANs interest in creating links with the EC. Special Coordinating Committee of ASEAN Nations (SCCAN) was set up by ASEAN in June 1972. The meeting consisted of trade ministers, whose objectives were to enhance groups that stood in the EC hierarchy of preferential trade partners.

ASEAN Brussels Committee (ABC) was formed in the same month of June to help SCCAN. It comprised of Ambassadors from diplomatic missions, and they met severally to discuss the issues (Coleman, & Underhill, 2012). To help conduct and maintain the European Union-ASEAN dialogues, many common committees developed in different regions including Paris, London, and Bonn. Southeast Asia was seen to be the most stable nation among the developing countries in the area, which was North-South dialogue key mediator and had promising economic growth.

In 1974 after the ECs commercial agreement initiative failure, ASEAN-EC relation proceeded due to the establishment of a joint study group that prepared the future agreement between EC and ASEAN. This made the first step of EC-ASEAN relation formalising. The original framework was to take a period of five years and two appraisals done. The objectives of this framework comprised of:

  • To strengthen regional organisations dedicated to social progress, cultural development and economic growth
  • To develop ASEAN-EC trade and economic relations by considering their mutual benefits and comparative advantages.
  • To contribute to international trade expansion.
  • To facilitate advancement of human and material resources.

During their developing years, the EC-ASEAN economic relationship was donor-recipient respectively. ASEAN attempted to rise in trade relations within the CCP hierarchy. The EU gave the ASEAN financial aid, which was more than FDI flows from the firms in EU. Dependence on EU by ASEAN was evident in the trade partners’ shares. According to Coleman and Underhill (2012), ASEAN’s third significant external trade partner was represented by EU in 1980, with 14.1% of its import and export trade. However, ASEAN had only 3% exports and 2.7% imports of EU.

Over the 1980s there was an emphasis on switching towards the economic cooperation from humanitarian assistance and development cooperation. This was an indication that EC perceived ASEAN as a capable economic partner. Calls for establishment equal partnership between ASEAN and EC was done by the end of the 1980s, and this prepared the EC-ASEAN relations in the 1990s.At global and multilateral level, globalisation consciousness, completion of Uruguay round and the post cold war led to the formation of geo-economics from geopolitics.

Eastern and Central Europe market restructuring imposed a challenge to the ASEAN through region’s potential to divert the European Union investments and trade from Southeast Asia. Creation of a free trade area was an advantage to both the EU and ASEAN regions as more investments and trades were generated.

 

Maximising Benefits: EU and ASEAN

Closer collaboration between the EU and ASEAN in their compatible economic interests and their shared global agenda can help maximise net benefits. Similar to the AFTAs objectives, it recognises that the economic relations between the Southeast Asians and other Pacific nations are the same with those shared by both ASEAN and the European Union. Establishment of collaborative arrangements by ASEAN with the broader Pacific Basin is wider than that with the European Union.

Considering the mutual market access, to create a leveller global playing field, a case can be for a successful collaboration between the European Union and ASEAN (Tan 1996).  Making the case is laid on the foundation that ASEAN and European Union economic linkages increased from 1987 through 1993. Economic activities and enhanced trade lead to more growth for all the partners. The European Union maintaining market access to the Southeast Asia adds benefits to the enterprises and individuals based in the European Union region.Expor4ts, which are destined to the region enhances the creation of income and employment (Laursen 2016).  Manufactured imports and valuable commodities, which originate from the Southeast Asia, are important in the European Union production processes.

South-east Asian suppliers provide the European Union with the provision of services, which helps the European trade interests, private capital transfers and chances for profitable DFI. By broader collaboration, Europe would become a partner, which would have benefits for both the European Union and non-European Union regions. This broader collaboration would be based on the principle experience of NAFTA and AFTA whereby the AFTA’s experience would be an instrument to threaten the North America interests in the ASEAN.

At its second summit in 1977, ASEAN launched a formal dialogue program and shortly afterwards, a discussion meeting with the United States followed. Discussions are currently performed between the European Union and other greater Asia-Pacific nations including United States, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and Australia. In 1979, ASEAN initiated a series of Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) in addition to the bilateral dialogues, whereby the ASEAN foreign ministers meet with their colleagues from the partner dialogue nations after the annual meetings (Laursen 2016). Although the bilateral dialogues are still held, PMCs have become the instruments of dialogues between ASEAN and the developed nations reflecting two aspects of the environment: growing interdependence of the Pacific Basin and the interdependence of political, strategic and economic issues. PMCs also allows for free-flow dialogue discussing issues on the multilateral basis with ASEAN’s economic partners. 

The United States and ASEAN dialogue is enhanced by cooperation beyond what the Southeast Asia and the European Union have decided to do so far. In 1990, ASEAN and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which became effective in 1991 and 1992 and was based on the content of the last report called ASEAN-US Initiative (AUI).The Memorandum of Understanding set up a committee for trade and investment, which aimed at having consultations of trade and development issues, identifying opportunities for increasing trade and investments and transfer technology human resource development and monitoring relations in trade and investments.

The ASEAN-EU meeting discussed that the committee would comprise senior officials from both parties. United States was chaired by the by the deputy United States trade representative, while the ASEAN was chaired by the economic minister’s group chairman. The committee was to meet once a year and representatives of either the ASEAN or EU private sector would be invited to participate in the meetings if there are agreements (Laursen 2016). Private sectors participating in the negotiation are an important move because their manufacturing and commercial decisions would lead to trade being expanded, established or diverted. The United States and ASEAN private sector officials are committed to undertaking efforts, which would promote open regionalism and economic harmony. 

ASEAN and European Union regions could focus on a collaboration that protects market access in the European Union and ASEAN interregional economic activities. ASEAN and European Union should have an agenda, which ensures that the European Union has ways that help in undercutting the benefits of protectionism in the Southeast Asia and at the same time give ASEAN access to Europe.

The European Union is interested in ensuring that Europeans get opportunities to have market relations with Southeast Asians. Effective dialogues ensure that trade diversions are minimised while the expansions are maximised.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

CONCLUSION

East Asia regionalism rose in 1990 and started in the context of the end of the bipolar international structure, dismantling of the Soviet Union, end of the cold world war and globalisation development. The 1997 Asian Financial crisis accelerated the regionalism. Attention from academic community has been attracted by the East Asia since its conception. This paper has attempted to discuss the regionalism in Asia considering critical issues like security, trade, foreign policy and comparing with the European Union organisation, which has acted as a model for Asia. The appropriateness of the use of East Asia and East Asia regionalism in this dissertation is clearly indicated by the review of the literature on ‘region’ and ‘regionalisation’.

East Asia has learned a lot from the European Union regionalisation, which has been its model. However, the European Union and East Asia have differences in terms culture and history. While East Asia emerged out of cold world war, European regionalism was out the end of world war two (Wunderlich, 2016). Another difference is that the United States supported the trend to prevent communism in European regionalism, while in Asia, bilateral relations have been developed by the United States and do not support communist states.

Some lessons learned from the European Union by the ASEAN include: 

  • Regionalism requires vision and to realise those statesmen’s visions; practical steps must be followed.
  • Regionalism is a step by step process and whereby clear goals must present each step. The European Union, for example, had set goals to have a common currency, common agricultural policy, common trade policy and common market.
  • Win-win manner should be the goal of regionalism so that the member states can feel better off inside than outside.

Economic integration is another step that is critical in integration. Having shared projects, pooling resources and government commitments are important in regionalisation. Without considering the historical and cultural differences between the European Union and ASEAN, regions that have looked EU as a model have provided ASEAN with knowledge on regionalism.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To increase its growth and integration, Asia must rely on its potentially large market, and this will enhance it to regain its dominance in the world economy. Disparity over time and space should be reduced among the members, and the integration processes should not only allow the members to grow fast. Therefore, Asia needs to manage integration process carefully.

Both regions should learn from each other since every region has something different that can be drawn from the other region. Scholars from the European Union can determine policies used in the Southeast Asia, and vice versa. Mutual sharing of theoretical and conceptual understanding of regionalism by scholars from both regions helps them to learn more through comparison. 

Further research on this study requires the researchers to examine regionalism separately according to the regions so that they can compare and contrast them. Investigating other regions enables the researchers to be able to identify the practical strategies that have been used by the European Union that have made the area to be a model to the ASEAN.

 

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