EU Bratislava Roadmap Seems Littered with Misdirections
In August Carl Nilsson published a commentary for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the political implications of the small-scaled terror attacks in Germany, referring to th...
On September 16th, the leaders of the 27 EU member states met in Bratislava to discuss the common future. This summit can’t be called a real success, as the leaders refused to share a stage and couldn’t come to a consensus on austerity and immigration, and both Matteo Renzi and Viktor Orban expressed their disappointment with the summit shortly after it.
Still, the EU isn’t the only regional institution having issues expressing a united front. Take a look at ASEAN. After the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague handed the Philippines an “empathic legal victory” in the case against against China, a court ruling that denies Beijing several claims in the South China Sea, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) displayed a sign of internal crisis.
Instead of a united front and a published communiqué in which the member states of the ASEAN demand China to conform to international law, Cambodia vetoed the draft and called for the removal of a diplomatic phrase wherein ASEAN expresses concerns about the militarization of the South China Sea. This comes after China has agreed to give Cambodia more than $500 million in foreign aid.
Regional institutions are made of individual member states with their own interests and those interests aren’t always aligned with that of the regional institution they’re apart of.
Moving on, what exactly was agreed on in Bratislava? Principles, mostly. Let’s be honest, the Bratislava roadmap is just that, a roadmap, six pages of bullet points and a promise for more details in the future. But aside from the lack of credible solutions to complex problems, it warrants some scrutinity.