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Taiwanese Lobbying in the European Union: ‘Workable Diplomacy’ and its Limitations. EU Diplomacy Paper 8/2015

Lang, Bertram (2015) Taiwanese Lobbying in the European Union: ‘Workable Diplomacy’ and its Limitations. EU Diplomacy Paper 8/2015. [Working Paper]

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    The policy of the European Union (EU) towards Taiwan has mostly been analysed either as a by-product of EU-China relations or with reference to the general lack of a European geopolitical approach towards East Asia. By adopting a lobbying approach which focusses on Taiwan’s different ‘channels of influence’ within the complex European foreign policy system in Brussels, this study provides new insights into the functioning of EU-Taiwan relations. It also sheds new light on the implications of the radical change in Taiwanese diplomacy after 2008, when Chen Shui-bian’s assertive and identity-based diplomacy was replaced with the Kuomintang’s new dogma of ‘workable diplomacy’. Based on semi-guided interviews with Taiwanese and European actors, this paper examines why Taiwanese lobbying in Brussels, albeit very active and professional, is not salient enough to meet the challenges arising from the overwhelming Chinese competition and from the increasing proliferation of regional trade agreements – with active EU participation – in the Asia-Pacific region. It argues that the pragmatic ‘workable diplomacy’ approach, while smoothing out working-level relations between Taiwan and the EU, fails to attract a sufficient degree of political and public attention in Europe to the Taiwan question and thus fosters the neglect of Taiwan by European foreign policy-makers. The main challenge faced by Taiwanese diplomacy, however, is not simply one of convincing through technical arguments, but one of agenda setting, that is, of redefining European priorities in Taiwan’s favour.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > China
    EU policies and themes > External relations > international trade
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > College of Europe (Brugge) > EU Diplomacy Paper
    Depositing User: Professor Sieglinde Gstoehl
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2015 09:36
    Number of Pages: 38
    Last Modified: 18 Dec 2015 09:36

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