Op-ed

Unintended Consequences of Europe’s Fight Against Deforestation

As part of its flagship Green Deal, the European Parliament approved a proposal for a draft regulation on 13 September 2022 which mandates operators to prove that wood, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, cattle, soy, and its derivatives are ‘deforestation-free’ before they enter the EU market. Producing developing countries in Asia and beyond have strongly opposed the EU’s unilateral objectives due to its potential socio-economic consequences. The rather quick passing of the regulation and limited time for consideration of its impact on third countries may actually cause harm to already vulnerable communities.

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The Significance of EU-Indonesia trade relations in the Indo-Pacific

While the European Union (EU)’s trade relations with Indonesia have strengthened over the years, they have also seemingly come to a standstill. 11 rounds of negotiations for the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IEU-CEPA) have so far taken place without significant progress due to sticking issues, including trade disputes in palm oil and nickel exports.

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EU Digital Diplomacy in China

The exclusive network environment, the distinct social media ecosystem and differences in culture and values pose a challenge for EU digital public diplomacy in China. Facing such challenges, how can the EUDC represent the EU more effectively on Chinese social media platforms, and apply the right communication channels?

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European Business and Investment under China’s Zero-COVID Policy

Whereas EU countries have adjusted to living with COVID-19 and lifted restrictions on masking and social distancing, China’s strict “Zero-COVID” policy has considerably affected European business operations. This has been pushing European companies to re-evaluate their China strategy and reconsider operational alternatives in the medium or long term. In what follows we will assess the latest developments for EU businesses and investment in China, zooming in on a number of specific sectors, forecasting future EU-China trade and investment opportunities and challenges.

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Philippine Elections: What Bongbong Marcos could mean for the EU?

As of 30 June 2022 Ferdinand Marcos Junior (Jr.), son of former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Senior (Sr.) and Imelda Romualdez Marcos is now President of the Philippines after a landslide victory of 30.8 million votes. Known as “Bongbong” Marcos, the new President led a highly criticised campaign abound with disinformation. With his running mate Sarah Duterte – daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte – securing the Vice-Presidency, traditional political dynasties are still prominent in Philippine politics.

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Myanmar’s Recent Developments and Sanctions reconsidered?

More than a year after the military coup and the beginning of violent clashes between the Tatmadaw and its opponents, Myanmar continues to experience unrest. The ongoing violence in the country is overshadowed by the Junta’s announcement to start carry out the death penalty for the first time in decades. The humanitarian crisis, shortages of goods and soaring prices for commodities are intensified by side effects of international sanctions, the covid-19 pandemic and global dynamics. Despite the severity of the crisis, the European Union has remained rather silent as of lately.

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The EU as a Maritime Security Provider? Prospects for Cooperation with Japan and South Korea

As the centre of global geopolitical and economic competition shifts towards Asia, the EU’s economic interests in the Indo-Pacific bring maritime security issues in the region ever closer to home. However, if the EU cares to be recognized as a global maritime security actor, and protect its interests abroad, it will need to take concrete steps to strengthen maritime security cooperation with its Asian partners.

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