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European Union-Burma relations (commentary/analysis)

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Title: Myanmar’s ASEAN challenges
Date of publication: 13 May 2014
Description/subject: "What can Myanmar’s chairmanship learn from the European Union members’ divided position on external affairs, such as the deep, public disagreements associated with the Iraq war, the incapacity to produce collective action during the EU’s reaction to the 2011 Libyan crisis, and again the unwillingness to share a common initiative in response to the more recent developments in Mali? It is a discouraging question, particularly in the light of the EU High Representative’s apparent obsession with the ‘reality of 27 member states who are sovereign, who believe passionately in their right to determine what they do’, as Ashton argued in 2011. As disagreements within the European Union have seriously damaged the relations among the member states as well as the political development of the EU as a whole, a major message from a European view lies in the conviction that divisions weaken any project of integration and the attempt to create a united community, which ASEAN plans to achieve by 2015..."
Author/creator: Ludovica Marchi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 July 2014


Title: "Youtube search for Burma OR Myanmar EU" (video)
Description/subject: About 501,000 results (August 2017)
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Various sources via Youtube
Format/size: Adobe Flash or html5
Date of entry/update: 22 August 2017


Title: Burma Day 2005 - Selected Documents
Description/subject: Burma Day 2005 - Selected Documents... Supporting Burma/Myanmar’s National Reconciliation Process - Challenges and Opportunities... Brussels, Tuesday 5th April 2005... Most of the papers and reports focus on the "Independent Report" written for the conference by Robert Taylor and Morten Pedersen. They range from macroeconomic critique to historical and procedural comment.
Language: English
Source/publisher: European Commission
Format/size: html, Word
Date of entry/update: 06 April 2005


Title: Euro-Burma Office/Associates to Develop Democratic Burma (ADDB)
Description/subject: EBO Political Monitors...Research papers: reports, statements and press releases...EBO Briefing Papers...News
Language: English
Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 February 2012


Individual Documents

Title: The Pending EU-Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement: Risks & Opportunities
Date of publication: 19 April 2017
Description/subject: Conclusions: "Widespread land conflicts and pending land governance reform, also in relation to the larger ongoing peace process, form the key reason for opposition to the pending EU-Myanmar IPA. As previously explained, land rights are not well established and populations living or working on land acquired for large-scale investment projects have protested over forced evictions, loss of livelihoods, inadequate consultation and compensation. Land governance reform is expected and wanted, as well as larger governance reform in the context of the peace process, although the breadth and depth of these remain unknown. In addition to the need for protection of land-related human rights, and the need for policy space, Myanmar at present has limited institutional capacity to implement stringent commitments, due to which it may fail to effectively enforce IPA measures. There is limited intra-government information sharing and coordination, which could unintentionally expose the country to expensive litigation risks. Combined with the umbrella clause included in the agreement, this may increase the vulnerability of host states to litigation under investment treaties. Ultimately, a lot of the discussion around investment protection comes down to a political discussion about development trajectories. Like one respondent also noted, “This IPA will be fine for Myanmar as long as it wants to continue what starts to look more and more as a neoliberal development policy. If they stay within the neoliberal paradigm, there will not be problems. But if one day they want to adopt massive land reform, they will run into trouble.”164 This also explains the position of some of the private stakeholders consulted, who emphasize Myanmar simply needs more investment if it wants to reduce poverty, and that this larger picture may sometimes have to overrule smaller issues. In short, different people have different visions for Myanmar’s future. However, given the NLD Economic Policy vision of the government is supposedly “peoplecentred, and aims to achieve inclusive and continuous development, and that it aims to establish an economic framework that supports national reconciliation, based on the just balancing of sustainable natural resource mobilization and allocation across the States and Region”165, there may indeed be issues with specific IPA provisions in the future, for which intensified lobby at this stage is warranted..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: ACT-Alliance
Format/size: pdf (920K-reduced version; 1.24MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://actalliance.org/publications/the-pending-eu-myanmar-investment-protection-agreement-risks-op...
Date of entry/update: 13 May 2017


Title: The European Union’s Myanmar Policy: Focused or Directionless?
Date of publication: 04 September 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "What is the European Union (EU) trying to achieve in Myanmar? Is the EU speaking with one voice and acting collectively (and does it really matter)? Were the sanctions lifted too early? These are some of the key questions surrounding the current role of the EU in relation to Myanmar. A close analysis of the EU’s Myanmar policy demonstrates that, while clearly driven by normative convictions, the EU’s approach and posture vis-à-vis Myanmar since 1988 has been more reactive than carefully planned and strategised. Whereas in the period from 1988 until early 2011 the EU’s Myanmar policy frequently fluctuated between a “carrot” and a “stick” approach, depending on the circumstances, since 2011 the emphasis has been on carrots, which signifies an important shift in the application of normative power. The EU has generously provided large amounts of aid intended mainly to assist Myanmar in its transition. This approach does not seem to factor in the possibility of backward steps and is based on a scenario of ongoing, linear political and economic reforms. This optimism is shared by both the European Commission and most EU member states. However, the similar perceptions and compatible normative foundations on which their policies are based have so far not translated into well-coordinated and coherent strategies and development cooperation programmes."..... Keywords: Myanmar, European Union, sanctions
Author/creator: Jörn Dosch and Jatswan S. Sidhu
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs , 34, 2
Format/size: pdf (230K)
Alternate URLs: http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jsaa/article/view/874/881'>http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jsaa/article/view/874/881
http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jsaa/
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2015


Title: Die Rolle der EU in Myanmar: Eine viel beschworene neue Freundschaft, die sich noch beweisen muss
Date of publication: March 2015
Description/subject: "Das von der Burma-Initiative herausgegebene Briefing Papier setzt seinen Fokus auf die Rolle der EU in Myanmar, die von einer Reihe von Faktoren wie der strikten EU-Sanktionspolitik sowie den starken Verschiebungen der globalen Kräfteverhältnisse geprägt ist. Die Verschränkung dieser Faktoren hat die EU in Myanmar in eine Position manövriert, die sich in charakteristischer Weise von der Rolle der EU in anderen Ländern und Regionen unterscheidet. Eine Analyse von Wolfram Schaffar..."
Author/creator: Wolfram Schaffar
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Stiftung Asienhaus (Burma Briefing 7/2015)
Format/size: pdf (767.3K)
Date of entry/update: 25 January 2016


Title: EU lifts sanctions on Myanmar
Date of publication: 23 April 2013
Description/subject: "EU foreign ministers agreed Monday to lift the last of the bloc's trade, economic and individual sanctions against Myanmar, hailing "a new chapter" with the once pariah state. Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, pictured in Luxembourg on April 22, 2013. Photo: European Union Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, pictured in Luxembourg on April 22, 2013. Photo: European Union "In response to the changes that have taken place and in the expectation that they will continue, the Council [of ministers] has decided to lift all sanctions with the exception of the embargo on arms," said a statement approved without a vote. "The EU is willing to open a new chapter in its relations with Myanmar/Burma, building a lasting partnership," it added. The European Union began easing sanctions against Myanmar a year ago as the military, in power for decades, progressively ceded power to civilians and implemented wholesale reforms of the economy. Ministers noted, however, that there were "still significant challenges to be addressed", in particular an end to hostilities in Kachin State and improving the plight of the Rohingya people..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.mizzima.com/news/politics/9263-eu-lifts-sanctions-on-myanmar.html
Date of entry/update: 23 April 2013


Title: Offering Trade Benefits for More Inclusive Elections: EU Trade Sanctions Against Myanmar Hit the Wrong Targets
Date of publication: 02 June 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: "When it comes to sanctions against Myanmar, Western public debate has crystallized broadly into two schools of thought – either in favor of sanctions, as a reflection of a moral position, or against sanctions because of their perceived lack of overall effectiveness. This policy brief suggests a more targeted and evidence-based approach. To begin with it is essential to have a clear and precise understanding of what sanctions should accomplish as well as knowledge of the actual impact of those sanctions on the ground. Equally important is to thereafter promptly dismantle any misguided measures while maintaining and reinforcing those measures that work according to the objectives. Finally, the flow of information to the international community must concern the actual impact of sanctions rather than rhetoric and propaganda."
Author/creator: Agnes Frittin, Niklas Swanström
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Security & Development Policy (Policy Brief 32)
Format/size: pdf (694K)
Date of entry/update: 27 November 2010


Title: After Renewing Sanctions, E.U. Seeks Face-Time with Burma Junta
Date of publication: 03 May 2010
Description/subject: European Union foreign ministers have renewed the bloc's "Common Position" on Burma, extending existing sanctions until April 2011. In a statement released April 26, the European Council expressed "serious concerns" that the recently published election laws "do not provide for free and fair elections" and restated its call "for the release of the political prisoners and detainees, including Aung San Suu Kyi."
Author/creator: Simon Roughneen
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Irrawaddy
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 October 2010


Title: Assessment of EU Policy on Burma
Date of publication: 26 February 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: "Last August, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a reassessment of the U.S. stance towards Burma from the previous policy of disengagement. Bearing the U.S. policy reassessment in mind, now would be a good time for the EU to reassess its own Burma policy. A necessary first step would be to reconsider sanctions which may be technically effective but highly ineffective in accomplishing their stated aims."
Author/creator: Oscar Bergman and Andreas Mälarstedt
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Security & Development Policy (Policy Brief 20)
Format/size: pdf (199K)
Date of entry/update: 27 November 2010


Title: European sanctions against Myanmar
Date of publication: 20 January 2010
Description/subject: "The European Union's Myanmar policy has been paved with good intentions. The intention has been to help establish a legitimate, democratically elected civilian government in Myanmar. This would end repression, violation of fundamental freedoms and lead to prosperity. These are no small objectives and they are all published in the Council Conclusions and Presidency Statements. In addition to this, the personal interest of political leaders and the impact of European advocacy groups have lead to the perception that they are on "the right side of history"... One part of the positively-intended EU policy has been the imposition of sanctions. The existing ar-ray of sanctions are 1) unilaterally imposed as a result of the EU Common Policy; 2) unilaterally imposed by the EU through statutory regulations; and 3) informal sanctions applied by individual EU countries. All EU sanc-tions against Myanmar are autonomous measures, i.e. not endorsed by the UN. Apart from the US and Canada, whose sanctions are similar, there is no state or region that has the same comprehensive sanctions regime as the EU. EU sanctions against Myanmar have been a long line of failures, as most sanctions are. What we see today in Myanmar is not a weakened government and political change, but stronger governmental control of resources and people, and increased interaction with, and influence of primarily China, but also India, Thailand, Russia and other actors, with the marginalization of European inter-action and influence. This was not what the EU sought. An open-minded analysis needs to be made by the EU regarding the continuation of the its sanctions policy..."
Author/creator: Agnes Frittin and Niklas Swanstrom
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Security and Development Policy (Sweden)
Format/size: pdf (299K)
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2010


Title: Intra-European Bargaining and the ‘Tower of Babel’ EU Approach to the Burmese Conundrum
Date of publication: 09 September 2009
Description/subject: Abstract: "Since the 1990 imposition of an arms embargo, the European Union has kept on furthering its sanction policies towards Burma’s military regime in response to its poor record on human rights and authoritarian rule over the country. However, more than a decade after the 1996 EU Common Position on Burma, the European approach to the Burmese conundrum has still failed to achieve its initial objective of facilitating a transition to democracy and of stimulating aid and development in the country. This article seeks to underline the limits of the EU position by highlighting the internal and external obstacles the Europeans have been facing in their policymaking process towards Burma. It is argued that the varied and multiple interests of the 27 EU members; an influential European public opinion favouring an attitude of ostracism; and misunderstandings or miscalculations in appreciating the current state of Burmese affairs have hindered the EU from playing an efficacious role. Moreover these factors also impede its reappraisal." Keywords: Burma - Common position - Engagement - EU foreign policy - Myanmar - Ostracism - Sanctions
Author/creator: Renaud Egreteau
Language: English
Source/publisher: Springer Netherlands ("East Asia", Volume 27, Number 1 / March, 2010)
Format/size: pdf (227K) 19 pages
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2010


Title: ARE EU TRADE SANCTIONS ON BURMA COMPATIBLE WITH WTO LAW?
Date of publication: 19 September 2008
Description/subject: I. Introduction For nearly twenty years, Burma has posed a seemingly insurmountable challenge to the international community. The former democracy is mired in economic and social stagnation, and its people are controlled by a repressive and abusive military regime. Faced with these obstacles, world leaders have struggled to develop an appropriate response. The United States has imposed an import and investment ban; the European Union and Japan have chosen more limited “targeted” sanctions. Still others such as China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have tried active engagement and cooperation. Despite these efforts, former Czech Republic President Václav Havel and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who pressed for action on Burma in the U.N. Security Council, said that the country’s “troubles are causing serious and possibly permanent problems that go well beyond human rights violations . . . [it] has now become a problem for the region and international community.”1
Author/creator: Robert L. Howse, Jared M. Genser
Language: English
Source/publisher: HOWSE&GENSER FTP 3_C.DOC
Format/size: pdf (817.05 KB)
Date of entry/update: 11 October 2010


Title: De la neutralité à la conditionnalité politique des relations communautaires avec les pays en voie de développement: ... Quelles sont les effets de la politique européenne de sanctions à l’égard du My
Date of publication: September 2007
Description/subject: La conditionnalité, de par sa nature essentiellement politique, a souvent été étudiée par des politologues plutôt que par des juristes. Ce constat est attribuable à l´absence d´une réglementation juridique internationale relative à la conditionnalité, et à sa mise en oeuvre de nature essentiellement ad hoc, et non systématique. Tous les Etats n´appliquent pas la conditionnalité politique, ni ne l´appliquent-ils tous de manière homogène; et encore moins y sont-ils tous soumis équitablement. La conditionnalité est toujours subordonnée à des exigences géopolitiques, stratégiques, commerciales et économiques.1 Beaucoup d´arguments peuvent être mobilisés contre la conditionnalité: le principe de non ingérence, la critique du néocolonialisme, le relativisme culturel, etc. Toutefois, la nécessité de protéger et de promouvoir les droits de l´homme peut suffire à la légitimer, pour le moins d´un point de vue conceptuel. D´un point de vue juridique, reste encore à prouver la légalité de cette pratique dans le droit international. L´argument principal à cet effet réside dans l´article 2.1. du Pacte International sur les Droits civils et Politiques, ratifié par la communauté internationale, lequel suggère que tous les Etats parties prennent des initiatives, notamment par l´intermédiaire de l´aide internationale et de la coopération, pour parvenir à la réalisation complète des droits reconnus dans le Pacte.2 La Communauté européenne, au sortir de la Guerre Froide, adopte une nouvelle conception du développement et de sa mise en oeuvre ; une conception plus libérale, et qui engage davantage la responsabilité des PVD dans le processus de développement. Dans ce contexte surgit la notion de conditionnalité politique de l’aide : désormais, l’aide est délivrée à condition que les pays récipiendaires s’engagent à respecter les droits fondamentaux et les principes démocratiques. L’aide au développement communautaire n’a pas toujours impliqué cette notion de mérite ; nous le verrons dans la première partie. Les bases juridiques sur lesquelles a été conçue la politique d’aide au développement communautaire jusque dans les années 1990 datent du Traité de Rome. Les relations avec les « pays et territoires d’outre mer » constituaient à l’époque une partie substantielle du Traité, de manière à assurer la pérennité des relations entre les métropoles européennes et leurs colonies une fois leur indépendance acquise. La conception des relations entre les PVD et la CEE a donc été durablement marquée par les dispositions du Traité de Rome. Géographiquement, cela signifiait des relations zélées avec les pays ACP (regroupant, plus ou moins, les ex PTOM ), dans le cadre des Conventions successives de Lomé ; et des relations tardives et modestes avec les PVD non associés, selon la terminologie révélatrice de la réglementation communautaire. Politiquement, les Conventions de Lomé réglaient la coopération au développement communautaire avec les pays ACP sur base d’une relation neutre, sans condition politique ou économique préalable. L’échec de cette politique apparaît de plus en plus flagrant après la crise de la dette et l’incapacité des économies en développement, surtout des pays ACP, à s’insérer dans le système économique mondial globalisé. A la même époque, la fin de la Guerre Froide voit les démocraties libérales occidentales triompher. L’Union Européenne est créée en 1992 sur base des principes libéraux d’économie de marché, de bonne gouvernance, de démocratie et de respect des droits de l’homme. Désormais, ces principes imprègneront la politique extérieure communautaire définie dans le cadre de la PESC. Les relations communautaires avec les PVD doivent être revues dans cette optique libérale. La nouvelle politique des droits de l’homme va être mise en oeuvre à travers la conditionnalité politique de l’aide au développement. Désormais, la politique de développement ne doit plus être considérée de manière isolée mais comme un élément de la politique extérieure communautaire.3 Nous l’ observerons, en analysant les relations régionales eurasiatiques, dans la deuxième partie. Le partenariat avec l’ANASE a une portée allant de la coopération commerciale, économique et politique à la coopération au développement. Le dialogue intergouvernemental au sein de l’ASEM (qui réunit les 27 membres de l’UE et 16 pays asiatiques dont la Chine, le Japon, l’Inde, la Corée du Sud et les pays membres de l’ANASE ) a aussi un dessein multidimensionnel, confrontant les différentes parties relativement à leurs politiques étrangère, économique et financière. Dans la quatrième partie, nous étudierons le cas de la conditionnalité politique appliquée à la Birmanie, gouvernée depuis 40 ans par une junte militaire devenue la bête noire de la communauté internationale. Depuis 1997, la Birmanie ne bénéficie plus de préférences tarifaires pour ses exportations vers l’UE. Pas plus ne dispose-t-elle aujourd’hui de l’aide communautaire au développement. Apres une présentation générale du pays et son histoire contemporaine, nous tenterons d’évaluer les effets de la stratégie communautaire dans le cas birman et l’opportunité d’appliquer la conditionnalité politique (et les sanctions qu’elle implique) pour mener un pays à se réformer et à se développer.
Author/creator: Louise Culot
Language: Francais, French
Source/publisher: Université Libre de Bruxelles
Format/size: pdf (481K)
Date of entry/update: 19 October 2007


Title: The EU and Burma in 2006
Date of publication: January 2006
Description/subject: Despite some engagement in 2005, the EU is not softening its stance on Burma.. "Recent EU activities have raised eyebrows among Burmese democracy advocates: the opening of a Burmese embassy in Brussels; the opening of an office in Rangoon of the European Community Humanitarian Office; the visit to Rangoon of an EU mission to unveil an EU Country Strategy Paper for Burma outlining its aid strategy for 2007-13; and the commissioning at the beginning of 2005 of Robert Taylor, dubbed by many a Rangoon regime apologist, to write an EU policy review paper. These events all seem to indicate a relaxing of the EU’s policy towards Burma at a time when the military dictatorship itself seems to be hardening its stand on democracy and human rights. What is happening and what can we expect in 2006? If the ruling junta thinks it can expect an easy time from the EU in 2006, it is sadly mistaken. The EU’s Common Position on Burma has not changed and will not change in the foreseeable future. Unless, and until, the situation of a lack of democracy and human rights in Burma improves, there can be no way to change the Common Position. Even though certain countries like Austria, France, Germany and Italy are sometimes cited as “friends” of the regime, there is no country in the 25-nation EU which can support the regime’s repressive policies. The Common Position is exactly that. It reflects the consensus view of the EU. Each country stands by it without exception..."
Author/creator: Harn Yawnghwe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Europe Plans More Engagement in Burma
Date of publication: April 2005
Description/subject: "Sanctions will stay, but aid programs win support... Differences between the European Union and Asian governments over how best to deal with Burma’s military junta may soon be a distant memory. As Asean gets tougher with Burma’s generals, the EU is taking another look at its long-standing policy of isolating Rangoon. Demonstrators protest against the Burma Day meeting EU sanctions against the military rulers will stay in place. But the 25 nation bloc is also working on an unprecedented aid strategy for Burma, including funding for health, education and poverty alleviation projects. The EU’s determination to provide assistance for Burma’s long-suffering population was highlighted at a “Burma Day” meeting organized in Brussels by the European Commission in early April..."
Author/creator: Shada Islam
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 13, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2005


Title: The European Union and Burma: The Case for Targeted Sanctions
Date of publication: March 2004
Description/subject: Executive Summary: The political stalemate in Burma will not be broken until the military regime considers it to be in its own self-interest to commence serious negotiations with the democratic and ethnic forces within the country. This paper outlines how the international community can bring about a political and economic situation which will foster such negotiations. Burma is ruled by a military dictatorship renowned for both oppressing and impoverishing its people, while enriching itself and the foreign businesses that work with it. The regime continues to ignore the 1990 electoral victory of Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy. The regime has shown no commitment to three years of UN mediation efforts. It has failed to end the practice of forced labour as required by its ILO treaty obligations and demanded by the International Labour Organization. It continues to persecute Burma’s ethnic peoples. It continues to detain more than 1,350 political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi. Any proposal of a road map to political change in Burma will fail to bring about democracy in this country unless it is formulated and executed in an atmosphere in which fundamental political freedoms are respected, all relevant stakeholders are included and committed to negotiate, a time frame for change is provided, space is provided for necessary mediation, and the restrictive and undemocratic objectives and principles imposed by the military through the National Convention (ensuring continued military control even in a “civilian” state) are set aside.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Campaign UK
Format/size: pdf (120K)
Date of entry/update: 28 March 2004


Title: Wege aus der Isolation. Birmas nationaler und internationaler Aussöhnungsprozess
Date of publication: August 2003
Description/subject: Zu Beginn der neunziger Jahre reagierten die EU und die USA auf die 1988 erfolgte Machtübernahme des Militärs in Birma und die Nichtanerkennung des 1990 errungenen Wahlsiegs der Opposition mit der öffentlichen Verurteilung dieses Regimes und einer Reihe wirtschaftlicher und politischer Sanktionen. Die ASEAN-Staaten wie auch UNO-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan setzten hingegen auf eine Strategie des »konstruktiven Engagements«, die durch einen intensiven Dialog mit der Regierung in Rangun den Weg zu politischen Reformen zu ebnen versuchte. Beide Strategien haben bislang nicht zu den beabsichtigten Ergebnissen geführt. Ausgangspunkt dieser Studie ist daher die Frage, welche Faktoren zu jener fast unauflöslich erscheinenden Konfrontation zwischen der Militärregierung einerseits und der birmanischen Opposition sowie den westlich orientierten Staaten andererseits geführt haben und welche Strategie von außen, vor allem von der EU, entwickelt werden sollte, um eine Neugestaltung der politischen Machtverhältnisse und eine Verbesserung der mehr als desolaten Lebensverhältnisse vieler Einwohner Birmas zu erzielen. Die Studie kommt zu dem Schluß, daß die politische und wirtschaftliche Krise Birmas nur durch einen langfristigen und umfassenden Transformationsprozeß bewältigt werden kann, in dem Veränderungen der sozioökonomischen Basis und der politischen Strukturen eng miteinander zu verknüpfen sind. Von Seiten des Auslands - nicht zuletzt der EU - kann und sollte dieser Transformationsprozeß nach Kräften und in den unterschiedlichsten Bereichen gefördert werden. Hierbei müssen positive Anreize und Druck einander nicht ausschließen, sondern es wäre im jeweiligen Einzelfall zu prüfen, ob eine Zusammenarbeit möglich und nützlich erscheint oder aber verweigert werden muß. Ways out of isolation, Burma's national and international reconciliation process, transition and democratisation
Author/creator: Gerhard Will
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 July 2005


Title: The EU's relations with Myanmar / Burma
Date of publication: 2003
Description/subject: Overview lists Political Context; Legal basis of EU relations; Trade/Economic Issues; Community Aid, General data. Other sections include: Conclusions of the General Affairs & External Relations Council (GAERC), Updates on the EU position.
Language: English
Source/publisher: European Commission
Format/size: pdf (71.51 K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.europarl.europa.eu
Date of entry/update: 12 October 2010


Title: The European Union’s sanctions related to Human rights: the case of Burma/Myanmar.
Date of publication: 2003
Description/subject: Table of contents: Foreword; Introduction; 1. European Union’s foreign policy, human rights and economics. 1.1. European Union’s promotion of human rights. 1.2. Legal base of sanctions in the European Union’s foreign policy. 2. Burma/Myanmar’s political history. 2.1. Ethnic composition of Burma/Myanmar. 2.2. Colonial past. 2.3. Post-colonial context. 2.4. The emergence of the Burmese democratic movement. 2.5. Military rule. 3. The European Union’s response. 3.1. Resolutions concerning the junta. 3.2. Aid campaign for up-rooted people and against AIDS’ spread. 4. The internationalisation of the Burma/Myanmar’s issue. 4.1. Non-states actors. 4.2. Big powers and neighbours states’ positions. 4.3. Intergovernmental institutions. 5. Sanctions in international relations: analysis of the European Union’s strategy. 5.1. Objectives: the choice of targeted or “smart” sanctions. 5.2. Methods of application. 5.3. Assessment of the sanction’s effectiveness. Conclusion. Bibliography. Acknowledgements. Appendix... Conclusion: "In the light of what have been said, many would have come to think that the European Union policy toward Burma/Myanmar is driven more by a desire to show to the international community that something is being done, than to genuinely address particularity of the Burmese issue. Indeed, the European Union is trading with many countries with questionable human rights records. Few of them are actually sanctioned by the European Union. This could be explained by their relative geo-strategic importance for the European Union, as it is the case for Pakistan for instance. On the contrary, Burma/Myanmar does not bear any particular value of this kind. Thus, it represents an easy means for the European Union to attest its “pro-active” attitude towards those who violate human rights. Nonetheless, the Burmese democratic movement is pushing for sanctions. Therefore, their interest could match those of the European Union. However, the sanctions implemented are by far too soft to provide and do not provide the strong incentive needed to persuade the junta to give up power. The European Union explains its weak attitude by humanitarian considerations: soft sanctions are thought to spare civilians, already affected by the junta’s mismanagement. However, as the NLD and some organisations, such as the Euro-Burma Office, suggest that the people cannot be affected by tougher economic sanctions, such as the import ban proposed by the US senate. Indeed, the Burmese economy chiefly relies on agriculture, with most of the population living on their own crops. Tourism, commercial and banking sectors that would be affected by economic and financial sanctions are all linked to the junta, if not state-owned. The European Union is well aware of these elements. Therefore, one could argue that the main reason for maintaining soft sanctions is related to trade considerations. We have showed indeed that imports from Burma/Myanmar to the European Union have sharply increased over the past years. Economic imperatives are thus the chief justification for the European Union inconsistent policy toward Rangoon. It clarifies the European Union attitude in the Massachusetts case, and the lack of cooperation with influent international actors, especially the United States. This tendency is particularly regrettable, as cooperation is a key requirement of sanctions’ effectiveness. Dealing with Burma/Myanmar democratic process entails more than lips-services. “Although most pro-sanction policies have a consistent objective in demanding a move towards democratic change, the exact mechanism for attaining these goals is less clear. The objectives of enhancing human rights and democracy are clearly enunciated in the US and EU’s positions but such abstract goals need to be operationalised. In other words, these positions need to be more oriented towards facilitating a focused objective rather than mere signalling of moral disapproval. By establishing a clear operational goal in place, disincentive polices could articulate specific but feasible objectives or benchmarks that signal the regime a clear message of what not to do, how to behave and which to concede.” Conclusively, the European Union policy is lacking of coherence and clarity, as far as the objectives of promoting democracy and human rights in Burma/Myanmar are concerned. The European Union did not shape its policy relatively to the specificity of the Burmese regime, held by a cohesive military elite who have been carried out a stable dictatorship for more than four decades. However, if the real aim of the European Union was to signal its own humanistic behaviour, the consequent instrumentalisation of the Burmese issue is a success. The European Union bears a significant potential of action on the junta, through trade and international bodies’ fora. One can therefore hope that the Community is soon going to use its influence with more determination..."
Author/creator: Anais Tamen
Language: English
Source/publisher: Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
Date of entry/update: 10 April 2004


Title: Special Reports: Myanmar just one side of the EU-Asean coin
Date of publication: 09 December 2000
Description/subject: 1. Ministerial meeting 2. The EU position on Myanmar 3. EU-Asean relations 1. Ministerial meeting Fifteen foreign ministers from the European Union (EU) and 10 from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are due to meet for two days in the Laos capital of Vientiane beginning December 11 - their first gathering since talks were suspended in 1997.
Author/creator: Fred Thurlow
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2010


Title: EU/ASEAN end impasse over Burma for now
Date of publication: December 1998
Description/subject: "Since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (Asean) inclusion of Burma in its regional grouping back in July of 1997, the European Union (EU) has cancelled bilateral meetings with Asean because of concerns over the Burmese government’s poor human rights record. But for now, the impasse between the EU and Asean over Burma has passed, and the delayed 13th Asean-EU Meeting is planned to be held in Bangkok..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 6 No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 April 2009


Title: Cook's Order
Date of publication: September 1997
Description/subject: Members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN, knew there would be a price to be paid for admitting Burma in July to full membership of their well-regarded club. But they may not have guessed that they would have been faced with it so soon.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003