The Program on European Studies (EUROS), part of Institute of International Studies (IIS) at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) organized the second Ambassadorial Lectures series by presenting H.E. Vincent Guerrénd, the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. The lecture took place at Faculty of Social and Political Science (FISIPOL) UGM on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017. Previously, EUROS IIS UGM had hosted the Ambassadorial Lecture with Yuri O. Thamrin, Ambassador of Indonesia to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU on October 18th, 2017 which took place the Senate Hall of UGM. Muhadi Sugiono, MA, lecturer of Department of International Relations at UGM moderated the lecture which entitled “EU Global Strategy: Its Implementation and Impact on Indonesia”. The strategy placed Indonesia in a special position as a global security-related partner of the EU.
The EU Global Strategy (EUGS) is a collective strategic plan related to the EU’s foreign policy, issued in 2016 after the United Kingdom suspended its membership on the EU – popularly known as ‘Brexit’ – based on the public referendum they held before. The making of EUGS is driven by four aspects: economics; political; demographics; democracy. (i) The economics aspect refers to increasing state-to-state interdependence but at the same time also showing the increase of economic protectionism policies. (ii) The political aspect refers to the transformation of actors and power relations around the global politics constellation. Guerrénd exemplifies the rise of China as a new influential actor and the Donald Trump who is elected as the new president of the United States. (iii) The demographic aspect marked by the increased intensity of human movement in recent decades, which not only caused a refugee crisis in Europe but also in Rohingya, Myanmar. (iv) The condition of democracy in Europe also perceived threatening the integrity and sovereignty of the EU due to the increased intensity of public opinion occasions like protest and referendums.
Another factor which contributes the foundation of EUGS was the more significant role of international organizations. According to Guerrénd, international organizations such as the UN, nowadays is heading towards a more integrative direction. On the other hand, their challenges also significantly more complex, portrayed as in the South China Sea dispute at the International Court of Justice. The concept of G2 (Group of Two, China and the United States), according to Guerrénd, will not be able to balance global politics because of the ideological differences, followed with the emergence of other influential actors. Guerrénd stated that the concept of G3 (The United States and China plus the EU), would be better because the EU has an important and strategic position in international relations. However, EU realized that the concept G3 is not enough in order to achieve the goals of global balance. In terms of that, EUGS emerged as the answer. One important point of the EUGS is emphasizing on greater roles and responsibilities of the EU to intervene world security conditions, based on international laws and orders. Engaging with other countries as well as being a credible partner for them. The EU defines partnership not only as the act of exchange but as a mutual effort to strengthening both capabilities.
Related to the Asian countries and Indonesia, politics and security issues became the main focus of EU’s partnership, where they intend to bring peace and stability in Asia. The previous intensive economic partnerships remained on continuation through the establishment of more free trade agreements. The cooperations in the field of politics and security including the non-proliferation of North Korea’s nuclear weapons; terrorism-countering and deradicalization efforts; preventive actions on human trafficking; and also rule of law enforcement in the South China Sea. Indonesia is specifically mentioned in the EUGS, along with Japan and South Korea as the strategic partners in Asia. There are approximately 40 pages of documents explaining specific strategic descriptions related to the EU engagement to Indonesia. Most of them discussed the issues of security, defence and counterterrorism. In the future, EU-Indonesia partnership will also be intensified to enhance military capabilities of each country. [ARY]