CSS Solved International Relations Past Papers | Examine the achievements and challenges in EU-Pakistan relations from the perspective of International Political Economy
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In this question, the examiner has asked about the International political economy w.r.t to European Union. He also asked about the achievements and challenges Pakistan has faced in relation EU in IPE, which means that he aspect from you to mention some of the accomplishments of this bilateral bond as well as exceptions. You have to mention recommendations in your critical analysis as well.
2- International political economy; IPE
3- European Union in IPE
4- Pakistan and EU
- Achievements in the Pak-EU relationship
- ✓ Strong political bonds
- EU-Pak Strategic Engagement Plan
- ✓ Humanitarian aid to standardize human life
- ✓ Economic and trade assistance for development
- ✓Developmental assistance and cooperation
- ✓Successful containment of COVID-19
- ✓ Strong political bonds
- Challenges in the Pak-EU relationship
- ✓ Pakistan resistant towards interference in domestic affairs
- ✓ Military intervention in Government Affairs
- ✓ Summits and their protocol mismatch
- ✓ Lack of wholesomeness in the EU
6- Critical analysis
Answer to the Question
The term International Political Economy means the interaction or intersection of politics and economy, such as money, people, goods, ideas, and services that can flow across borders.EU or European Union in an economic and political coalition that promotes the healthcare system, democracy and peace. In the case of Pakistan, the main areas of their cooperation are transport, health, trade, environment, humanitarian assistance, sectoral cooperation, development, climate change, migration and the energy sector. Some of the achievements of their mutual bond are strong political bonds, humanitarian aid to standardize human life, economic and trade assistance for development, developmental assistance and cooperation and successful containment of COVID-19. Contrary to this, there are some challenges as well, such as Pakistan’s resistance towards interference in domestic affairs, military intervention in Government affairs, summits and their protocol mismatch and lack of wholesomeness in the EU. EU and Pakistan can respond in an integrated manner to any crisis by working with member states on their areas of strength.
International political economy; IPE
The concept of IPE is not new, it was first explored by Aristotle and then Kautiliya, authors of antiquity. Long before that, the word “ political economy” was first used in 1613, by Antoine de Montchrestien. Later on, it was changed to Global Political Economy (GPE). The term International Political Economy means the interaction or intersection of politics and economy, such as money, people, goods, ideas, and services that can flow across borders. This system is not only dependent on states but comprises several actors like individuals, states, companies and international financial and trade organizations. Some examples of IPE from the present world include the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), European Union (EU), the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and other regional trade organizations.
European Union in IPE
EU or European Union in an economic and political coalition among European states. Initially, in 1958 six states (Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg ) formed this coalition. Later 22 other European nations joined the Union. Some of the main objectives of the EU are to promote the healthcare system, democracy and peace. It also works on tariff-free trade and infrastructure development to support underdeveloped and developing nations.
Pakistan and EU
Pakistan is genetically a peace-loving nation and has cordial ties with almost all countries of the world, but its relations with the EU are admirable that are made on mutual harmony, equality and respect. Pakistan is also inclined towards more productive and constructive partnerships. Their relationship has grown in recent years. The main areas of their cooperation are transport, health, trade, environment, humanitarian assistance, sectoral cooperation, development, climate change, migration and the energy sector. Some of their achievements and challenges are mentioned below
- Achievements in the Pak-EU relationship
1- ✓ Strong political bonds
Pakistan and European Union are important political partners. They have a cooperation on a range of issues, including trade, transport, health, migration, etc. Both are working under SEP (strategic engagement plan), and an annual meeting of the EU-Pakistan Joint Commission is held to review the progress of the agreement.
EU-Pak Strategic Engagement Plan
This plan aims at the development of several areas as shown in the figure
These objectives of the EU partnership are also helping Pakistan to achieve the goals of the United Nations, Agenda 2023, sustainable development goals, European consensus and Pakistan’s vision 2025.
2- ✓ Humanitarian aid to standardize human life
Pakistan has received aid of €565 million since 2009, to help Pakistan fight against disasters like floods and massive earthquakes. Apart from this EU has also sent relief items for the victims of these disasters. It has continued to send food and health items to people suffering from malnutrition and food insecurities, such as Afghan refugees etc. It offered
- Sanitation facilities
- Clean drinking water
- Healthcare facilities
- And support and protection to displaced families
3- ✓ Economic and trade assistance for development
EU has always supported Pakistan’s economic fusion in the Global economy, and this integration was achieved by the promotion of direct investment, support in building infrastructure, bilateral trade, protection of human rights and improvement of labour standards. EU is Pakistan’s biggest export market, about 1/3rd of its exports reach the EU market. It became possible after Pakistan achieved GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences) status from the EU in 2014. the commission publishes a GSP report every two years to monitor the progress of beneficiaries. According to the latest report of 2019, Pakistan’s exports to the EU were worth €7.49 billion.
4- ✓ Developmental assistance and cooperation
Pakistan has received €700 million per year for humanitarian assistance and development. By providing this assistance, EU helps Pakistan to tackle extreme poverty, illiteracy and mental health issues and to ensure a healthy and growth-conducing environment. Some of the particular areas under this aid are
a. Science and technology, EU has a partnership with Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) to promote its €80 billion project called Horizon 2020.
b. Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2021-2027 that encompasses areas such as rural development, education of men and women, basic human rights and good governance.
5- ✓ Successful containment of COVID-19
Pakistan has successfully contained COVID-19 amid serious inflation. EU, with other International Organizations, has collaborated with Pakistan on the front lines. EU and its Member States invested over €2.2 billion, including €1 billion from the EU budget, for the COVAX Facility to help secure 1.3 billion doses of vaccination. To ensure the timely and equal distribution of health assistance and vaccine, Pakistan collaborated with the EU, WHO, UNICEF, GAVI and other EU member states.
- Challenges in the Pak-EU relationship
Although Pakistan and the EU have shared values still there is no clear-cut understanding, some of the norms and values of the supranational organization EU don’t coincide with that of Pakistan.
1- ✓ Pakistan resistant towards interference in domestic affairs
Despite the relationship between both being based on shared values but the norms and values on which the supranational EU is constructed don’t coincide with the norms of Pakistan. Other European countries have ceded a good part of their autonomy to the EU whereas Pakistan is more reluctant for this and is more likely to defend its sovereignty and right to hold back any foreign institution to intervene in its domestic affairs. Some of the instances of intervention for which Pakistan has paid a heavy price are the promulgation of the Kerry Lugger Bill and the loss of legitimacy of different governments.
2- ✓ Military intervention in Government Affairs
Military intervention in government affairs is not a hidden aspect of Pakistan’s policies. According to international opinions military rules and their interventions to some extent in governments have severely damaged the democracy of nations. International organizations have assistance for democratic political governments, but they are reluctant to collaborate with military.
3- ✓ Summits and their protocol mismatch
Summits are important means used by all international organizations to deal with their partners, and it is also an essential tool for the decision-making process. An instance happened at the second EU summit, in February 2010, when the Pakistan Foreign Office informed the EU that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani would attend the summit instead of President Zardari. As the expectation was the representation at the ‘highest level, so, the EU considered that meeting, not a summit, due to the absence of the higher authority. EU called it a ‘protocol mismatch’ on Pakistan’s end. But the reality was something else; due to the 18th amendment, Pakistan’s higher authority was changed from President Zardari to Prime Minister Gillani, that’s why Gillani was sent to attend the summit. The EU could avoid situations like this by raising its level of awareness of the situation in Pakistan through the promotion of research and dialogue between both partners’ academics and experts.
4- ✓ Lack of wholesomeness in the EU
Pakistan is having a human capital crisis as well and needs improvement in water and sanitation management and maintenance of hygiene for better child health and population control. The country needs to work on quality education and the development of socioeconomic protection for high-risk inhabitants. The more self-dependent the people, the more climate resilient will be the society.
- Union’s economic integration model is an opportunity for Pakistan to mutually engage in research and technologies of the future. It can provide Pakistan with new defence and developmental technologies and enhance its self-sustainable capabilities.
- Pakistan should also follow its crisis management procedures, which would be beneficial for the government, the citizens of Pakistan and their peace and stability.
- It should also learn to strengthen its resilience capability within and outside its borders by implementing good governance and accountability of institutions.
- Pakistan has been facing terrorism for a very long time, so it should join hands with the EU to focus on eradication of terrorism, cyber security issues, extremism and other external issues.
- Pakistan should enhance its CPEC project with the EU’s cooperation, as EU states can invest in CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) and other ventures like these. This would enhance CPEC’s long-term vision.
EU’s cooperation is a great opportunity for Pakistan if it can sincerely use it. Pakistan is facing several issues and the EU can provide a helping hand, such as
- They can work on energy projects, and European nations have immense resources, expertise and knowledge of these projects.
- Assistance can be provided on the lingering Kashmir issue, EU’s attention can be diverted as there is an acute human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir by Indians.
- For peace and security in the region, Union can bring India and Pakistan to one table.
EU and Pakistan can respond in a coordinated manner to any crisis by working with member states on their areas of strength. They can cooperate and integrate into promoting and supporting regional blocs outside the EU by sharing the best practices in helping regions become more united.
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