The 17th ASAN Roundtable on “Europe’s Foreign Policy toward Northeast Asia”
Date/Time: Thursday, March 10, 2011/ 9:30-12:30
Place: Main Conference Room (4F), The Asan Institute for Policy Studies
The Asan Institute for Policy Studies held the 17th Roundtable discussion on Thursday, March 10, 2011 with Dr. Francois Godement, Dr. Bong Youngshik, Dr. Christian Lechervy, Dr. Lee Moosung, and Mr. Benjamin Hautecouverture.
Biography of the Speakers (In order of presentation)
Francois GODEMENT is a Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, a Professor of political science at Sciences Po, and the Director for Strategy at the Asia Centre in Paris, France. Godement is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Superieure de la rue d’Ulm in Paris where he majored in history, and is a Harvard University postgraduate. He holds a Ph.D. in contemporary history. He has also been a consultant to OECD, the European Union, and the World Bank. He is a regular editor of China Analysis, published in French by Asia Centre and English in association with the European Council on Foreign Relations. His areas of expertise are Chinese and East Asian strategic and international affairs, and issues of integration and conflicts.
BONG Youngshik D. is a Senior Researcher at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, Korea. He holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A from Yonsei University. Before joining the Asan Institute, Bong was an Assistant Professor at American University’s School of International Service in Washington D.C. from 2007 to 2010. He was also a Freeman post-doctoral fellow at Wellesley College and an Assistant Professor of Korean Studies at Williams College in Massachusetts. His writings have been published in the Journal of Asian Studies, Korea Observer, Political Science Quarterly and Korean Studies. The focus of his research is the interplay between nationalism and globalization on security issues including Dokdo and other island disputes in Asia, anti-Americanism and the U.S.-Korea Alliance.
Christian LECHERVY is currently a Deputy Director of the Policy Planning Staff for the French Foreign Office. He received M.A. in econometry and international relations and a Ph.D. in Sovietics studies. He was a Deputy Secretary General at the Institute of Strategic and International Relations (1991-92), Chief Clerk of the Asia-Pacific section at the Delegation for Strategic Affairs for the Department of Defence (1992-1996), Assistant Deputy Director for Regional Affairs at the Delegation for Strategic Affairs, Minister of Defence (1996-1997), Diplomatic Advisor on International Affairs for the Minister of Defence, Sir Alain Richard (1997-2002), Deputy Delegate for Humanitarian Action, Deputy Director of the Humanitarian Policy Desk for the Foreign Office (2002), Deputy Director of the South-East Asia section for the Foreign Office (2002-2006), and France Ambassador to Turkmenistan (2006-2009).
LEE Moosung is an Associate Professor of Myongji University, Department of Political Science and Diplomacy. He holds a Ph.D. in international studies from University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He has been publishing numerous articles in Korean Journal of Defense analysis, Asia Europe Journal, and Perspectives on European politics and Society. His research interests are the European Union and the Korean Peninsula, the European Union enlargement, regional integration, and the European Union integration.
Benjamin HAUTECOUVERTURE is a Research Fellow for nonproliferation and disarmament issues at the Foundation for Strategic Affairs (FRS) and at the Center for Arms control and International Security (CESIM) in Paris, France. As a member of the FRS, he is currently conducting two European Union projects on the global nuclear nonproliferation regime. He is also the Editor of The Nonproliferation Monthly,monthly newsletter on proliferation, non-proliferation and disarmament issues related to nuclear, biological, chemical weapons and their delivery systems.The areas of his research include nuclear security, the NPT review process, and the European Union strategy against the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Abstracts (In order of presentation)
“Making of Europe’s Foreign Policy and China”
Dr. Francois Godement focused his presentation on the EU level of policy. He claims that due to a heavy emphasis on the European regional governance, the EU has had more inward than outward view even in its foreign policy measures. The EU’s lack of recognition and effort to readjust to rapidly changing China created the current imbalance between the EU-China relations. Some of the EU member states attempted to pursue bilateral economic and political relationships with China in the individual state level. However, the attempts have been disadvantaging in the EU as a whole because individual member states are competing against each other to have better relationship with China. In order for the EU to overcome current imbalance, the EU member states need to build a common China policy for regional interests and benefits. He recognizes that China is undeniably important economic and political partner for the EU. Therefore, the Union needs to invest in more serious strategic relations outside Europe. Overall, he believes that China has been helping the EU to overcome its inwardness and become more efficient and active member in the global community.
“The European Union and the Korean Peninsula”
Dr. Christian Lechervy said that the EU member states share similar vision in the North Korea policy. In fact, debates and exchanges of information regarding North Korea contribute in forming a common approach, common objective, and beginning of common policy. The North Korea policy is based on one approach and two principles: engagement policy based on universal values and principles. The EU supports the six-party talks and substantial progress in democratization in North Korea. It aims to continue the EU-DPRK dialogues with strict terms of reference including human rights, socioeconomic issues, stability in the Korean peninsula and international obligations. The EU has a general intention to provide means to improve water and energy resources and fulfill necessary needs for people in North Korea. Dr. Lechervy argued that economic training is crucial, since the different economic systems is one of the major obstacles in the EU-DPRK cooperation. The DPRK needs to give access the EU or UN reporters to be review appropriate distribution of humanitarian aids. The EU defines policy mostly because it has interest in the region and the global community.
“Assessing Engagement Strategy toward Nuclear North Korea: The Early Harvest Approach”
The Early Harvest approach was the main North Korea policy during the second term of the Bush Administration of the United States. This approach aims to reduce mutual distrust and increase the cost of defections for both Washington and Pyongyang. Despite its initial success, the Early Harvest approach has been heavily criticized in the midst of series of provocations by the North. This paper chronicles the history of the Early Harvest approach and examines why even a good early start might not guarantee a good ending. It also examines the inherent shortcomings of the approach and possible ways to make the previous approach more effective in restraining the North’s provocative behavior.
“The role of the EU on North Korea Policy: a Normative Approach”
In the case of bilateral relationship between the EU and North Korea, the Union’s policy toward North Korea is based on straightforward rationalist calculation. However, the Union focuses on the areas of low politics, involving economic aid and excluding political and military options altogether. Dr. Moosung Lee explains why the EU has chosen “soft approach” over “hard approach,” pursuing non-confrontational dialogue and gradual change. He claims that this choice enabled the EU to manifest itself as a novel kind of power that is distinct from a conventional hard power. He investigates how the EU has managed its relationship with North Korea, by examining the extent to which value-systems embedded in the EU’s North Korean policy. He uses assessments on debates between neo-realism and constructivism in regards setting a theoretical framework for the identity question of the EU, and examples of the Union’s value-driven approach toward North Korea.
“The EU and the Fight Against Proliferation of WMD”
The commitment to the principle of “effective multilateralism” has been reportedly the cornerstone of the European paradigm since 2003. What is “effective multilateralism”? One of the thorny questions raised by this subject is: What is a non-proliferation norm without the use of force or without the possibility of the use of force? It raises the issue of the effectiveness of the European Strategy, particularly when it comes to the current nuclear proliferation crises involving North Korea and Iran.
The effectiveness of Europe as a major actor towards non-proliferation is still highly debatable in Europe. Regarding proliferation crises, the European policies have not been able to reach success so far, even if it has become possible to talk about European policies in the field. On the contrary, positive role and actions can be measured in multilateral arenas: the NPT review process and the IAEA provide two examples. The role of the EU in non-proliferation and disarmament assistance since the end of the Cold war in various fields such as chemical disarmament, nuclear security or risk mitigation also deserves to be mentioned.
To sum up, it is clear that the EU has had an important role within its territory. It is undoubtedly becoming an important functional actor, able to add technical and financial value when needed outside of its borders. But it still has great difficulty in being a real regional and global actor regarding the non-proliferation of WMD.