Bincang ASEAN Discusses EU and ASEAN Model of Integration

ASEAN Studies Center UGM held the sixth meeting of Bincang ASEAN in Friday (19/5), which invited Prof. Janos Vandor (Professor at Budapest Business School) and Suraj Shah (Graduate Student at King’s College University of London) to share interesting views on whether on European Union can serve as an integration model for ASEAN as there has been several attempts to achieve integration outside of Europe, including ASEAN. However, how do EU model integration suits ASEAN?

Shah Suraj begin the discussion by examining the Varieties of Capitalism Approach (VoC) applied by EU and ASEAN. Suraj pointed out ASEAN and EU has a different path to select related to VoC. EU develops supranational institutions that suit a Liberal Market Economies (LME), whereas ASEAN develops intergovernmental institutions that suit a Co-ordinated Market Economies (CME). Reviewing the condition of ASEAN recently, Prof Janos Vandor from Budapest Business School who paid a visit to ASEAN Studies Centre added that EU and ASEAN develops a different political will. ASEAN shows no indication of sovereignty sharing and a high chance of competitiveness within the members — a striking contrast to EU.

Recapitulating the international political economy, EU and ASEAN shares different mechanism. To enforce the mechanism, EU established European Parliement and European Courts which determine all member states to adhere to this and can not pursue their own bilateral agenda. While, ASEAN constructs ASEAN centrality that allows members to engage outside of the region, and make their own trading agreements on a bilateral level.

Suraj also mentioned that so long as ASEAN maintains the institutional form of the ASEAN Way, there is no way to enforce or socialise system coordination or institutional complementarity that would allow for supranational integration. In conclusion, Prof Vandor and Suraj agreed that ASEAN must find its own path towards integration based on its institutional form as a limited access order and economic model of a coordinated market.