Europe in the World

Conference: EU-Japan Agreements - What now?
13 Sep 2018 09:30 - 20:00
Source: EU and Japan ink free trade agreement, July 2018

This conference is organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the European Japan Advanced Research Network. For further information on programme and registration click here. Registrations will be handled on a first come, first served basis.

In July 2018, the EU and Japan officially signed their recently concluded Free Trade/Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and a so-called Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which envisions institutionalising EU-Japan cooperation in the economic as well as political and security spheres.

On the economic side, this signals the readiness of both Japan and the EU to advance free trade at a time when the US President Donald Trump is promoting a protectionist policy of “America first”. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that China has emerged as a global power without socialising fully into the existing liberal international order – and in fact, poses challenges to it, because of its state-led economy and authoritarian political system. In this environment can the EPA serve as a new model for both fair and free trade and - once the investment protection rules are finalised – investment? Can the EPA promote bilateral cooperation to reinforce the legitimacy of global economic governance institutions? How can the two sides reinforce mutual cooperation and engage other, like-minded countries to defend and ideally deepen the present rules-based liberal order that is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy?

On the political side, how and to what extent will the SPA facilitate increased EU-Japan cooperation in the broader field of comprehensive security or development cooperation? Will it increase the frequency and intensity of EU-Japan non-combat security cooperation in Asia, Africa and elsewhere? How can and will EU and Japan cooperate more closely in the military and security fields?

During the conference, policy-makers from both the EU and Japan will try to pinpoint in which areas more cooperation would be beneficial, and how to cooperate in these areas. In session 2 on Strategic Cooperation in global economic governance Senior Research Fellow Maaike Okano-Heijmans will address the topic of 'Managing the crisis of authority in global economic governance: The risk of trade wars and connectivity conflicts'.