This paper tries to shed more light on the relations between the European Union (EU) and Asia in these two decades from the middle of 1990’s to today. Two regions have been undergoing significant changes internally, and at the same time heavily strengthening relations between them.
There are three levels of relations between EU and Asia to be examined due to the division of the competence between the EU and the Member States.
The first is a multilateral forum called Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), born in 1996 at the first summit at Bangkok and will celebrate 20 years anniversary in 2016 at Ulaanbaatar. The one of the visible changes of the ASEM is the enlargement of its members. With enlargement of members from 26 in 1996 to 53 in 2014, the EU is no longer Europe, and the ASEM has become a forum for real region-to-region dialogue and cooperation.
The second is bilateral relations between the EU and the members of Asia grouping of ASEM just as the EU・Japan relations. As the EU had changed its policy from world trade round to bilateral FTAs in October 1996, more emphasis have been on bilateral FTAs and mega FTAs.
The third is traditional bilateral relations of the Member States of the EU and the members of the Asian grouping of the ASEM such as Anglo・Chinese relations. To conclude trade agreement is matter of the power of the EU but the Member States are able to make trade promotions separately. Especially China matters for European countries as rush of the bilateral summit meetings in Autumn 2015 vividly showed.
By analysing these complicated multi-layer relations between the Europe and Asia, this paper is to examine how both groupings mean to each other.
This article examines the state of the European Union with a particular emphasis on European foreign policy. It does so by theorizing three concepts―“normative power (Europe)”, (European) “foreign policy” and “multilateralism”. I work with these concepts in a particular fashion―esp. by expanding their uses compared to how they have come to be understood in the context of International Relations discourse in general and the study of European Union politics in particular. The purpose of this move is to arrive at an alternative description of contemporary European politics in a world which is increasingly considered by many observers as being “out of joint”. First, rather than associating “normative power” (in the case of the EU) with a “force for the good” I argue that a usage which emphasizes the ability of some actor to define what passes for normal (Manners 2002) has the advantage of refocusing the political struggles in which the EU engages with other actors. In this understanding “Normative Power Europe” is currently stuck, among others, in political struggles with “normative power Russia” and “normative power Islamic State” over what should (or: what must not) pass for normal. Second, in contrast to intergovernmental politics among (and decision-making vis-à-vis) nation states the practice of boundary drawing as political performance is identified as a more useful core of the concept of “foreign policy” because he helps to problematize shifting notions both among EU member states and the EU’s collective outside about who is treated as “foreigner” or one of “us”. Third, minilateralism―the practice of getting together “the smallest possible number of countries needed to have the largest possible impact on solving a particular problem”, Naim 2009) is problematized as a spreading habit of inter-state cooperation which has also infected cooperation within the EU and which seriously threatens to undermine its multilateralist foundation of existence. Together the three concepts help to pinpoint the core predicament of the European Union by identifying the key political struggles among competing normative powers which effectively redraw boundaries between EUropean (and/or “Greek” or “German”) insides and outsides in such a way that fundamental institutional routines and established practices of the EU are seriously undermined.
This research examines the interrelationships between the reforms undertaken through the European Union’s (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and multilateral rule-making negotiations under the General Agreement on Trades and Tariffs (GATT)/World Trade Organization (WTO), the processes of dispute settlement mechanisms under the WTO, and bilateral negotiations of free trade agreements (FTAs).
Since the Uruguay Round (UR; 1986-1994) of the GATT, multilateral rule-making negotiations have driven by CAP reforms. In 1992―under external pressure from trading partners, including the USA and the Cairns Group of Fair Trading Nations―the EU reformed its CAP to help conclude the UR negotiations. This reform gave the EU a bargaining advantage in multilateral trade negotiations, and ultimately resulted in rules and regulations regarding agricultural market-access and subsidies that were largely advantageous to the EU. The European agricultural sector is still characterized by high levels of protection for domestic producers.
Through the CAP, the EU aggressively reformed domestic agricultural support programs to prevent future disputes being settled under the dispute settlement mechanisms of the WTO. For instance, after a decision against the EU, it abolished export subsidies on sugar and drastically reformed the European Common Sugar Policy. A new, market-oriented policy for sugar production was also introduced under external pressure from trading partners.
The EU also declared some of the most competitive food-exporting countries, including Australia, as unacceptable partners for FTAs. Through trade diversion effects, FTAs concluded among these major food exporters―such as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP)―have negatively impacted the economy of the EU. However, the EU aims to reduce these potentially negative impacts by concluding bilateral FTAs with Japan and the USA. Acceding to the TPP would bring little benefit to the EU’s agriculture sector. Thus, while the TPP requires liberalization across agricultural and industrial sectors, the EU rather intends to enhance the international competitiveness of its agricultural products by gradually opening its agricultural market through bilateral FTAs with major trading partners, except the most competitive ones mentioned above.
The EU’s approach to regulate its agricultural markets harmonizes differing interests: maintaining the multilateral trading system; preventing legal disputes; responding to external pressures; constructing global FTA networks; and enhancing agricultural competitiveness. It does so by taking advantage of the various interrelationships between the CAP reforms and the multilateral rule-making negotiations under the GATT/WTO; the processes of the dispute settlement mechanisms of the WTO; and bilateral negotiation of FTAs.
Since the 1990s, the European Union (EU) has been working to strengthen the protection of intellectual property (IP) in agriculture and related areas, and to integrate the relevant laws and regulations across its member states. The challenges ahead include accelerating technological transfer to farmers and supporting the creation of new agricultural businesses. In addition, another significant challenge is now emerging for the EU, that is, how to address the conflict between the need to protect IP and the need to protect the public interest. For instance, when the EU directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions was enacted in 1998, it came under fierce criticism for being detrimental to the environment and problematic from the perspective of bioethics. The criticism remains unresolved today. Meanwhile, the EU regulation for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization prompted German and Dutch seed companies to file lawsuits seeking the annulment of the regulation, claiming that the regulation could undermine plant breeders’ rights and freedom to develop. How can the EU balance the need to enhance the competitiveness of agriculture and the need to safeguard non-economic public interest goals? That is another challenge inherent in the problem concerning agriculture and IP in the EU.
In this article, I will first provide an overview of the key areas of agricultural innovation that are currently focused in the EU, and consider IP policy challenges ahead. Next, I will summarize the patent system and the plant variety protection system in Europe, explaining the background and current status of problems surrounding the ban on double protection under the two systems. I will also analyze how multilateral rules on trade, the environment, and other global public policy issues have been affecting the IP laws and regulations in the EU in terms of their relationship with agriculture. Lastly, I will consider the newly emerging problem, namely, the conflict between the need to protect IP and the need to safeguard non-economic public interest goals.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the recent trends of EU exports of main dairy products，especially butter，cheese，skimmed milk powder (SMP) and whole milk powder (WMP). The dairy sector is one of the most important agricultural sectors in the EU and has been exporting numerous dairy products to world markets since the introduction of the Common Agricultural Policy. That is to say，the EU, along with the United States，Australia and New Zealand, is one of the main exporting areas of dairy products to world markets.
As a result of the milk quota system (additional levy system) being abolished on 31 March 2015，dairy farmers in each EU member country are now at liberty to produce raw milk regardless of volume. The EU intends to take a positive attitude and adopt the market-oriented dairy policy in order to cope with global competition and to rigorously enter into world markets.
The present market conditions of dairy products are not favorable for the EU，partly because Russia, one of the most important established markets for the EU, imposes an embargo on the import of foods from the EU, and partly because China, one of the increasingly important target markets for the EU, is undergoing a recession. Meanwhile, milk production in the EU is increasing. That is why milk producer prices in EU member countries have gone down. The EU is now adopting Public Intervention and Private Storage Aid to separate a surplus of main dairy products from the market to support their prices.
However，an increase in demand of dairy products in world markets is expected thanks to an increase in population and income per capita in rising nations outside the EU. In addition，consumption of butter and cheese is increasing in Eastern Europe and the area is thus a promising market inside the EU. In conclusion, the EU will remain a leading exporter of main dairy products in the short term and will be able to successfully expand their export in the medium and long term.
In 2000, the European Commission published the document “Communication on the precautionary principle,” which prescribes guidelines for applying the precautionary principle in the EU. According to this document, the precautionary principle is positioned within the framework of science-based risk analysis. It does not exempt measures based on the principle from the general principles of risk management, such as proportionality, consistency, and cost-benefit examination. Thus, the precautionary principle in the guidelines seems to be moderate and subordinate. However, the precautionary principle in some actual policies in the EU seems quite different from that described in the guidelines.
This paper analyzes two policies related to agriculture, mainly the regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), which is a typical policy based on the precautionary principle in the EU.
The legislation of GMO in the EU provides for an authorization process in advance of cultivating GMOs or placing them on the market. However, the authorization process is at a stalemate. Many applications for approval are still pending even though the applicants have already received positive risk assessments from the European Food Safety Authority, because of the opposition of many of the member states against the background of public opinion.
In addition, new legislation has recently been enacted. Since April 2015, member states may choose to opt out of GMO cultivation, i.e., to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of authorized GM crops within their territory. Such opt-out measures do not need to be justified by scientific evidence on the environmental impact.
Further, this paper discusses a restriction on the use of some pesticides belonging to the neonicotinoid family, to protect bees. The restriction was adopted in the absence of sufficient scientific certainty and, further, seems to have been adopted without consideration of its various effects, such as the cost-benefit and the risk trade-off.
As shown above, at least in these two cases, the precautionary principle in the EU has been applied outside of a science-based framework, leaving the guidelines, and as a result, the policies concerned may cause conflict with the EU law and WTO law.
This paper discusses the EU economic governance reforms toward the ECB’s monetary policy, tightening of fiscal discipline and correction of the economic imbalance after the EU sovereign crisis in order to clarify the reform issues.
The sovereign crisis had spread from Greek to other southern European nations, such as Spain and Portugal. In the course of fiscal reform in Greek, the third sovereign crisis attacked Greek in 2015 summer, which highlighted the fundamental issues of the EMU sustainability. Although the adoption of the Euro contributed to the economic growth of the peripheral nations, those nations face the economic imbalance in terms of productivity, Unit labour cost and current account of balance.
The main focus in on the question such as: do the tightening of fiscal discipline and the reforms to correct imbalance really solve the sovereign crisis in a long term? What is the main structural cause of the sovereign crisis? What reform is needed to sustain the Euro area in the future?
Firstly, section 1 examines the causes of the current account of balance in the Euro area sovereign debt nations. International capital inflow and TARGET2 maintained the finance of the current account deficit. The characteristic attributed to the prevention of the International balance of payment crisis, but to the appearance of sovereign crisis.
Secondly, section 2 analyzes the effects and abuse of the ECB’s monetary policy. While the ECB left the waiver of minimum credit rating requirements for marketable bonds by Hellenic Republic in February 2015, ECB used emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks at the same time. Although the fact that this policy contributed to the prevention of Greece’s departure from the euro zone, the paper argues that the liquidity provision would have an influence on the Euro credibility.
Lastly, section 3 stresses the importance of the EU fiscal Union in order to finalize the EMU. However, it will be a long time until the EU succeeds in the Banking Union, the Capital Union and political union which are preconditions of the EU Fiscal Union.
This paper considers the significance of unconventional monetary policies, in particular, Quantitative Easing implemented by European Central Bank during the post-euro crisis. There are problems in Euro area such as disinflation, low economic growth and interest rate spread between core and periphery country. The ECB deal with these problems by lower interest rate, portfolio rebalance and signal effect caused by QE.
There are some discussions about QE by the ECB. We can consider two types of typical discussions. The first type is the discussion on QE in general, and the second type is that on QE peculiar to Euro area. The discussions about the former include the problem of monetary finance and impediment to a structural reform. However, it is confirmed from the result of implements by Federal Reserve Bank and Bank of Japan that QE has a stimulative effect on the economy. The discussions about the later include the problem of fiscal burden transfer from core countries to periphery countries that have a vulnerable fiscal base. However, buying government bond by QE lead to interest payment from each country to the ECB, and lead to interest income to these. Thus, there is not the burden of core countries. In addition, QE is able to help periphery countries that suffer not only national government debt burden but also the above problems in Euro area. Some of these discussions have common characteristics, that is, they under-evaluate the roles of the central bank. In fact, however, in Euro area, the role of monetary policy by ECB is very important. By contrast, the use of expansionary fiscal policy in Euro area is limited. Thus, the importance of monetary policy as macroeconomic policy by supranational central bank such as ECB is increasing. In this paper, we investigate the problems and the solutions in Euro area, by considering the positive effect of QE as unconventional monetary policy.
This survey paper aims to deal with idiosyncratic issues of ECB’s QE by investigating QE literatures and ECB press interviews, and present considerable points to proceed future assessment studies of QE such as portfolio-rebalancing, business-stimulating and inflation accelerating effects. In terms of QE implementation, ECB’s idiosyncratic issues are the extension of ECB’ jurisdiction over adjustment programmes’ conditionality by ESM Treaty 13(3) on countries under QE and multinational risk-sharing especially related to exit strategies of QE. EU’s inequality in this paper means both directly uneven transmission effects of QE-driven stock and asset price increase on GDP and consumption, and indirectly widening income disparity effects by cutting welfare and social security budget demanded by fiscal contraction and structural reforms under Troika’s adjustment programmes.
This survey’s findings are as follows. Firstly, a cause of which QE’s businesss-stimulating effects and inflation accelerating effects are limited is balance sheet recession advocated by Richard Koo. Secondly, multinational risk sharing issues are as follows. ECB decides which countries’ government securities to buy and how many. In reality, ECB’s purchases of those are biased toward those of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, which consists of almost 80% of all the purchases under QE. This bias has an influence on unevenly distributed transmission effects of QE on real economy described above. Furthermore, the decision of ECB to implement QE is not unanimous, so if any country defaults, say, Greece, ECB gets to bear fiscal burden against other countries’ will. Germany is most likely to assume responsibility for large parts of the expenses, which makes it difficult for countries in EU to build multinational risk sharing with mutual consent. Consequently, at present, those risk sharing problems relating to QE’s exit strategies are stark. If government securities interest rates possibly jump up for some reason in the future, filling its fiscal losses requires German risk sharing of fiscal transfer to financially fragile central banks. However, its fiscal transfer is strictly banned by TFEU article 123, ESCB rule article 21, and any government debt acceptance by EU institution is also strictly banned by TFEU article 125 known as no bail-out clauses. Therefore, ECB is required to deal with promotion of the fiscal union of EU or revision of the treaties described above so that multinational risk sharing functions properly in case of uncertainties under the exit of ECB’s QE in the near future.
In this article, it is argued that, according to requests by EU private banks, the Directorate General for Competition (DG COMP) abolished guarantees for public banks in EU Member States.
The EU financial integration was developed in the 1980s single market program, however, there were loopholes in the financial integration. For example, aid to public banks was rarely questioned in the 1980s single market program. Therefore, EU Member States were able to protect domestic public banks by giving guarantees. In the 2000s the guarantees were abolished by the DG COMP. However, little attention was paid to the role of EU private banks at the time of the abolishment.
At the end of 1991, the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia decided to transfer the Housing Promotion Institute (WFA) to WestLB for a consideration of 0.6 per annum. In 1994, a complaint was lodged against the transfer by the Federal Association of German Banks. German private banks took the view that the low price paid constituted state aid that distorted competition. This started a dispute over the guarantees for public banks in Germany. On 21 December 1999, the European Banking Federation (EBF) filed a complaint against Anstaltslast and Gewährträgerhaftung, the two guarantee instruments traditionally used in the German public banks. According to the EBF’s request, the DG COMP has requested the German authorities to bring State guarantees for public banks into line with the State aid rules of the EC Treaty. At first, German authorities and public banks resisted against the DG COMP’s request, but soon after agreed on the request. These were followed by the abolishment of similar guarantees in Austria and France.
Therefore, according to the request by EU private banks, the DG COMP abolished the guarantees for public banks in EU Member States.
The European Community (now European Union) adopted in April 2004 Directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage. The purpose of the Directive is to establish a common legal framework of environmental liability based on the ‘polluter-pays’ principle within the EU, to prevent and remedy environmental damage. Although the environmental damage could affect various countries and international society cooperates to protect global environment such as climate change or marine pollution, there is no binding international treaty which regulates liability for environmental (per se) damages. Even the International Law Commission could adopt the Draft principles on the allocation of loss in the case of transboundary harm arising out of hazardous activities in 2006 as a non-binding principle. However, recently the EU involves the neighbouring countries for protection of marine environment based on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the influence of the EU law is spreading out. This means, the EU’s Environmental Liability Directive could become a model for an international treaty on universal liability regime for environmental damage.
In this Article, firstly, I briefly explain the contents of the Environmental Liability Directive in order to clarify the characteristics of this Directive. This Directive aims at preventing and remedying environmental damages to water, land and protected species or natural habitat, and does not affect rights of compensation for traditional damage granted under relevant international civil liability treaties. According to the ‘polluter-pays’ principle, an operator should bear the cost of necessary preventive or remedial measures. The competent authority of the Member States should ensure the proper implementation and enforcement of the scheme provided for by this Directive (administrative approach).
Secondly, I analyse some problems implementing the Directive which were also mentioned in the Commission Report 2010, other studies carried out by private institutions and Member States’ reports submitted to the Commission. The most important and basic point is the Directive does not prevent Member States from maintaining or enacting more stringent provisions. If a Member State adopts more stringent measure than the Directive and other Member States, private companies hesitate to enter into the market of that Member State and such a situation could disturb establishing the common market of the EU.
Lastly, I make a proposal for possible amendments of the Directive.
Switzerland is not a European Union (EU) member state. However, located in the heart of Europe, the EU accounts for 54.9% of its total exports, 74.4% of imports, and 42.7% of Swiss investment abroad, while 79.1% of international investment in Switzerland comes from EU member states. Under the circumstances, a harmonious relationship with the EU is vital for Switzerland’s political and economic survival.
Switzerland’s application to join the EU has been put on hold, as it declined to join the European Economic Area (EEA) through a national referendum in 1992. To support the Swiss economy, Switzerland’s government launched so-called “Swisslex” to bring Swiss law into line with that of the EU. In 1999, it further strengthened the links with the EU’s economy through signing seven bilateral agreements to negotiate with the EU (Bilateral I). In 2004, it concluded a number of bilateral agreements (Bilateral II). Further, in 2014, it entered negotiations over certain structural issues (Bilateral III). Thus, the Swiss government has been exploring a third way to survive, as neither a member of the EU, nor a member of the EEA, signing over 120 bilateral agreements with the EU.
However, on 9 February 2014, a citizens’ initiative to make mass immigration restrictions a constitutional provision was passed, requiring Switzerland to enact immigration regulation by 2017. This makes renegotiations essential, as the enactment of immigration regulation will contradict the ‘EU-Swiss Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons’. However, the EU argues that there is no room for a renegotiation. This is a critical issue for Switzerland because if this bilateral agreement is annulled, the other six Bilateral I agreements would be simultaneously revoked in view of the ‘Guillotine Clause’.
This study analyses how its unique political system of direct democracy and federalism has influenced the process by which Switzerland utilises bilateral agreements as a means of survival in the vast market of the EU. The study also discusses some of the challenges to Switzerland’s EU policy, which remain little known in Japan.