News Archive – April 2015
Multilingualism and the EU
The Economist, April 30, 2015 – The European Union is unique: 28 countries that have chosen to share their sovereignty…. At the core of the EU is the single market, the idea that goods, services, people and capital should flow freely across borders…. At the level of political theatre, debates in the European Parliament may be boring and stilted, thanks to the need for simultaneous interpretation. But imagine if members were required to use those few languages, and forbidden to speak in the language their voters understand. The result would be a populist-nationalist backlash even bigger than the one Europe already faces.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
East African Community: The unfinished agenda
Brookings Institution, April 30, 2015 – The East African Community (EAC)—comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda—has the ambitious goal of introducing a single currency by 2024. This journey towards integration commenced in 2000 and is underpinned by three main protocols: the customs union (2005), the common market (2010), and, more recently, the monetary union (2013). This increasing integration, which the East African heads of state see as steps towards their ultimate goal of a political federation, facilitates the free movement of goods, services, and capital around the region….
Yemen to request Gulf Cooperation Council membership
Gulf News, April 29, 2015 – Yemen’s government will request membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the country’s spokesman said on Wednesday. “We will present a plan in Saudi Arabia next month that will prepare Yemen to be included in the GCC,” Rajeh Badi told Reuters by telephone from Qatar.
Asean to replace China as manufacturing superpower
Global Trade Review, April 29, 2015 – Countries of Southeast Asia will soon replace China as the world’s manufacturing superpower and become one of the planet’s most important trading blocs. A new report into the next 10 years of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) found that the region’s youthful population, comparatively low labour costs, scope for productivity improvement and strategic location should propel it to being the world’s fifth largest economic area by 2025.
Promoting the creation of the “South American Armed Forces”
APF Digital (Argentina), April 27, 2015 (Google Translate) – The deputy Nestor Tomassi wants to be by act of Congress and the Government to take the proposal Unasur • The forces would defend the sovereignty of the region, coordinate espionage activities against the United States and boost the defense industry
Latin American experts discuss creating a regional Criminal Court for the countries of Unasur – Sputnik, April 27, 2015 (Google Translate)- Lawyers of Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Ecuador discussed starting today in Buenos Aires the creation of a regional Criminal Court in the framework of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur),reported Prensa Latina.
EURASIAN UNION, ASEAN:
Eurasian Union would make a good partner for ASEAN
The early completion of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union could pave the way for greater economic engagement between the union and the ASEAN Economic Community
Russia Behind the Headlines, April 27, 2015 - “The AEC’s blueprint calls for transforming ‘ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital,’ and this is similar to Vladimir Putin’s vision for the Eurasian Union,” says Alina Jorayeva, a business consultant from Kazakhstan working in Kuala Lumpur. “The two new economic blocs could even work on a long-term roadmap for a free trade area, if you look at the complementarities.”
ASEAN, EUROPEAN UNION:
Asean, EU to revisit FTA talks
Bangkok Post, April 26, 2015 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union will look into resuming their stalled free trade talks after a “stock-taking” meeting at the end of 2015, trade officials from both sides said Sunday…. Asean Deputy Secretary-General for Asean Economic Community Lim Hong Hin said the year-end timing is just right to relook at the regional trade pact…. “A good timing to revisit the region-to-region FTA will be after the realization of the AEC at the end of 2015,” Lim said.ASEAN:
Asean on track to deliver measures under AEC, says Asean Deputy Sec-Gen
- MalayMail, April 25, 2015 – Asean has made good progress in meeting all measures stipulated in the Asean Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint … said Dr Lim Hong Hin, Asean Deputy Secretary-General for the AEC…. But, let’s put it into perspective, it does not mean that by end of 2015 everything is done because regional integration is an ongoing progress,” he stressed. He pointed out that the European Union, a politico-economic union of 28 member states in Europe, was the first to start with a common market, followed by customs and banking unions, and now an energy union.
EURASIAN UNION, EUROPEAN UNION:
Are relations between the EU and the EAEU possible?
Vestnik Kavkaza (Russia), April 24, 2015 – The EU remains a key partner of the Eurasian Union, Victor Khristenko, the head of the Eurasian Economic Commission, has recently said. According to him, “we are still interested in a systemic dialogue with the EU and don’t reject implementation of the idea of a united space from Vladivostok to Lisbon.” After stiffening of sanctions against Russia, the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel stated that the EU was ready to discuss trade issues with the Eurasian Economic Union.
Africa’s free trade area launch set for June
Daily News (Tanzania), April 24, 2015 – Africa’s free trade area comprising of 26 countries with a combined population of over half a billion and a combined US$1.1tri gross domestic product (gdp) will be launched in Egypt next June. The Tripartite FTA will account for half of the membership of African Union, that contributes just over 58 per cent total GDP and 57 per cent of the total population on the continent….. among the members who belong to Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
Malaysia has proposed Asean Peacekeeping Force for regional stability
The Star (Malaysia), April 23, 2015 – Malaysia, as Chair of Asean, has proposed the setting up of an Asean Peacekeeping Force to deal with security issues in the region said Defence Minister Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. “We have taken the initiative to propose the setting up of an Asean Peacekeeping Force under the auspice of the United Nations. “The proposal had received positive reactions from Asean member states,” he said
UNASUR’s Bank of the South to Begin Operations in May
teleSUR, April 22, 2015 – The Bank of the South, a monetary fund and lending institution originally established by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela, will begin operations in May, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said late Tuesday…. The Bank of the South, or Bancosur, is intended as an alternative to borrowing from institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Arab army chiefs meet to plan regional force
Khaleej Times (Dubai, U.A.E.), April 22, 2015 – Army chiefs from Arab League nations met in Cairo on Wednesday to start work on the establishment of a region-wide military force aimed at combating militant groups.
TPP: ‘Washington’s Attempt to Shape the Rules’ in ASEAN
Cambodia’s Hun Sen Slams ASEAN-Splitting TPP
The Diplomat, April 21, 2015 - Hun Sen’s tirade is quite puzzling and misleading – though he is hardly the only one with such a view…. TPP did not intentionally exclude specific countries as is sometimes mistakenly suggested – be it other ASEAN member states or China. Rather, these countries were not able to meet the high standards of the agreement currently, and so they could not be included at this time. As U.S. officials have repeatedly said, other nations are welcome to join the TPP once they are ready to do so – which is part of Washington’s attempt to shape the rules in the region in a way that encourages a race to the top rather than to the bottom.
ASEAN, EU and the ‘NEW REGIONAL MERCANTILISM’ :
Asean economic growth ‘to outdo EU’
BBC News, April 20, 2015 – The 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) will surpass the EU in growth once its economies have been integrated, the World Economic Forum in Jakarta has heard.
EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION, ASEAN:
Russia, ASEAN States May Sign Free Trade Deals – Vice-Premier
Bernama (Malaysia), April 21, 2015 – The post-Soviet trade bloc [Eurasian Economic Union] was established to ensure a free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce on its territory currently comprises Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. The free trade deal between the EEU and Vietnam will help expand Russia’s access to the Vietnamese market and the market of the ASEAN member states, Eurasian Economic Commission Trade Minister Andrei Slepnyov said in late March.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
Kenya to launch biometric passport
Planet Biometrics, April 20, 2015 – “As Kenya embarks on relaxing border restrictions through the East African Community integration process, Nairobi will not allow its borders to be easy targets for criminals,” Kihalangwa said. In February, the East African Community revealed that it had allocated funds for study into a regional ePassport that would also be used by citizens of member states for international travel.
UAE endorses hosting HQ for joint GCC police force in Abu Dhabi
Al Arabiya (Dubai, U.A.E.), April 19, 2015 – The UAE cabinet on Sunday endorsed hosting the headquarters for a proposed joint police force of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states in its capital Abu Dhabi, the state-run news agency (WAM) reported.
A step towards solidarity – Khaleej Times (Dubai, U.A.E.), April 20, 2015 – Do the joint military drills to take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represent a first step towards implementing the Arab Summit’s decision to form a unified Arab military force? …. It is clear that such a unified force will include the Gulf Cooperation Council countries along with Egypt and Jordan, in addition to a possible few other states that are most likely to be participating in Operation Decisive Storm. Accordingly, agreeing on the military drills is a serious step towards the necessary choice of a military alliance that unifies the Arab world against the current threats.
Obama-GCC talks set for May 13, 14 – Arab News (Saudi Arabia), April 17, 2015 – US President Barack Obama will welcome the six leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in mid-May for talks on Iran’s nuclear program and the conflicts in Yemen, Iraq and Syria.
Global Shakedown: ISIS, Ukraine and the ‘New Cold War’
YouTube, Published on Apr 16, 2015 – By Tim Porter, CircumspectNews.com
ISIS is the latest hit man in an extortion of nations into the New World Order. Meanwhile, Putin’s Eurasian Union continues its tug-of-war over Ukraine with the European Union, in what is being described as the beginning of a new Cold War.
Economic bloc: SAARC working on single currency
Express Tribune (with the International New York Times), April 16, 2015 – Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik has expressed the resolve that the chamber will continue to pursue its mission to boost trade among Saarc member states. “Efforts are also under way to launch a common currency for the Saarc bloc on the model of the single European Union currency,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION:
Iran, EEU discuss economic cooperation
Mehr News (Iran), April 11, 2015 – Mehdi Sanaei, Iranian Ambassador [to Russia], met with Viktor Khristenko, Head of Eurasian Economic Union to confer the possible ways of extending and developing bilateral cooperation….. [Sanaei] added, “this would result in extension of trade and economic relations, and the next step will be discussing Iran’s membership.”
Samper suggests a South American peace force to end the conflict in Colombia
Fox News Latino, April 9, 2015 (Google Translate)- Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Ernesto Samper, today suggested the performance of a regional peace force to accompany a process of disarmament and demobilization in Colombia, in case the Bogota government and the FARC agreed by the end of the conflict.
New Arab Order To Defend Middle East
Eurasia Review, April 7, 2015 - Only a strong Arab order can check Iran’s territorial and political ambitions…. The driving force will have to be economic cooperation that confronts the issues of unemployment and poverty; two main reasons for the growth of extremism in the region. It’s a tall order but leaders should act now in order to create momentum for a new regional bloc that will be able to defend the security and stability of the region.
The All-Arab Army? – Foreign Affairs (Council on Foreign Relations), April 7, 2015 – More recently, similar plans resurfaced in calls from EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to set up “a joint EU army.” …. The reason: a common European military would have to be the result of a common European foreign policy, not its initiator. Imagine how much greater the challenges will be for the Arab League.
U.S. promises to beef up defense aid to Persian Gulf allies
Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2015 – The White House has invited leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council nations — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman — to the presidential retreat at Camp David in coming weeks …. The administration’s goal, officials said Tuesday, is to convince the Arab monarchies that U.S. security guarantees will make them safer than if they buy sensitive technology or a nuclear weapon from Pakistan, a Sunni Muslim ally, as the Saudis have privately threatened to do.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
EACJ Judge President, Principal Judge Now Full-Time in Arusha
AllAfrica, April 7, 2015 – The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or the Court), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.
Is Eurasian Economic Union Membership Possible for Turkey?
Journal of Turkish Weekly, April 6, 2015 – Turkey’s membership in the short term is not possible unless some important questions are answered first. For example, what kind of a structure will the Eurasian Economic Union embody, and will it turn into a political integration or not?
Warming up Turkey: The importance of economic engagement – Brookings Institution, April 6, 2015 – Throughout the Cold War, Turkey was recognized as a solid and reliable member of the Western-led world order. More recently, however, …. As protests in Kyiv in November 2013 unfolded in support of a Ukraine with closer ties to the EU, Turkey’s then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to admit Turkey into the Russian-led Eurasian Union. Erdoğan declared Turkey was tired of waiting to join the EU.
Houthis ready for peace talks
Khaleej Times, April 6, 2015 – Yemen’s Houthis are ready to sit down for peace talks as long as a Saudi-led air campaign is halted and the negotiations are overseen by “non-aggressive” parties, a senior Houthi member said…. King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, was quoted as saying that the kingdom was also ready for a political meeting of Yemeni parties, under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Arabs should be united to fight terrorism, safeguard pan-Arab security
Xinhua (China), April 6, 2015 – In light of the rapidly growing developments in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Yemen and the recent gains by the Islamic State (IS) group and other al-Qaida-link armed groups in several Arab states, there is a dire need for awakening among the Arab states, they said. The experts said a recent decision by the Arab leaders at the 26th Arab League Summit to form a joint Arab military force is a step in the right direction to stand up to these threats.
UNASUR to Launch First Regional Defense School in Ecuador
teleSUR (Venezuela), April 2, 2015 – (The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) regional integration bloc announced that it will open the first South American School of Defense (ESUDE) on April 17 to train military officers of the 12 member countries of the regional bloc…. The UNASUR school is largely seen as an alternative to the U.S.-based School of the Americas (SOA), which in 2001 was renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC: ‘MADE IN EAST AFRICA’
UNIDO, EAC launches program to strengthen East African industrial base
SpyGhana, April 2, 2015 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with East African Community’s secretariat on Wednesday launched a program for strengthening institutional capacities for industrial policy in East African countries. … The official said each member state has its own types of raw materials that can be used to manufacture finished products in another then get to export them as “Made in East Africa” items.
ARAB LEAGUE, GCC:
Arab nations created a joint military. Is that good or bad?
Reuters, April 2, 2015 – The Arab League’s decision to establish a joint military force should be viewed, above all, as a major accomplishment for Saudi Arabian foreign policy… As Arab Spring uprisings appeared to sweep all before them in 2011…. the Saudis proposed an expanded Gulf Cooperation Council that would include the Arab world’s two other monarchies, Jordan and Morocco…. With the new pan-Arab force, however, Riyadh has built something far bigger. Not just because of the number of Arab states likely to join, but also because Egypt has pledged to be a central partner.