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ASEM: Interregionalism In Evidence of Normative Power EUrope?
- Roza Smolinska, Independent Researcher, Brugge, Belgium
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Starting from 1990s the European Union has explicitly declared its interest in supporting regional integration in different parts of the world and has included these interest into its external policy under the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. In the same period the European Commission published a document titled “Towards a New Asia Strategy” which was interpreted as the European ‘rediscovery’ of Asian region. It was based on one of the foreign policy goals of protecting the EU’s interests and values. This sudden attention paid by the EU to Asia resulted later on in the establishment of the Asia-Europe Meeting, the so-called ASEM. Subsequently, the 2001 Commission’s communication on Europe and Asia explicitly mentioned human rights, democracy, good governance and rule of law among its objectives which all constitute some of the core values characteristic for Ian Manners’ concept of normative power Europe. This paper will analyze the EU’s motivations behind the cooperation with Asia within the ASEM framework. By doing so, it will try to find out whether the EU uses its normative power proclaimed by Ian Manners in the context of its engagement within the ASEM. Finally, it will represent a sort of assessment to what extent the employment of the normative power by the EU can enhance or undermine its ability to be a global power.