Erdmann-Keefer, Vera. (1995) "The European Union in Southeast Asia: Missing the Boom?" (Evaluation of a rescue attempt by the European Commission). In: UNSPECIFIED, Charleston, South Carolina. (Unpublished)
The Commission of the European Communities published a first policy paper "Towards a New Asia Strategy," in July 1994. The paper has since been approved by the Council in principle. It is aimed at "strengthening the European economic presence in Asia in cooperation with the member states and the private sector but it also suggests "subjects for political discussion." The publication of this paper is to be seen in the context of at least three important developments. First, the rapid economic growth in Asia, termed "miracle" in a recent World Bank Report; second the general mood that Europe is missing out on this "boom," being surpassed by Japan and the U.S. as major influences in the region; and third the ratification of the Treaty of European Union (TEU) with its new potential for the development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Under these conditions, the European Commission threw its hat in the ring by proposing a "New Asia Strategy." The proposal was published on July 13, just two weeks before the Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMC), the meeting of ASEAN ministers with their dialogue partners, in Bangkok on July 26. This paper is aimed at evaluating the Commission's strategy and its prospects for implementation by taking a look at the institutions and decision making procedures at hand to carry out this policy.
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