Indonesia

Complexities and Visions of Outer-Space between the EU and Asia

More recent global competition has reignited outer space curiosity, as well as the use of it as an illustration of a country’s competency, capability, and focus. Those States able to reach outer space by their own means demonstrate their power due to the financial strain required. Pushing back the limits of human exploration and establishing such ‘firsts’ conveys prestige and notoriety. The most recent ‘first’ was achieved on 23 August 2023. That day, the Chandayaar-3 mission led to an Indian lander known as Vikram touching down on the Lunar South Pole. There it dispatched its rover, Pragyan. This mission made India the fourth State to land an unmanned probe on the Moon after the US, Russia, and China. Moreover, it made it the first State to reach the lunar south pole.

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Southeast Asia’s Summit Season

In November 2022, Southeast Asia entered the centre of global attention as the region hosted an unprecedented group of major international summits: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Related Summits in Cambodia on 10-13 November, the Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders’ Summit in Indonesia on 15-16 November and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Thailand on 18-19 November. Yet, as the summit season gathered the world’s leaders to foster stronger international cooperation, the gatherings were dominated by soaring diplomatic tensions and the growing strategic polarisation, consequently putting Southeast Asia’s international leadership to the test.

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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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