Common Policy and Foreign Policy of Indonesia-European Union (EU) Bilateral relations between Indonesia and EU were established in 1967 under the framework of ASEAN. At the time, EU was under the form of European Economic Community (EEC). In the first two decades the relations between the two entities has been smooth. Until the last decades, EU was having heavy caseload on enlargement policy to unite all European countries and global security developments. Indonesia – EU’s bilateral relationship is attached to the dynamic domestic and regional development, both in Indonesia and the EU. On one hand, EU’s enlargement to 27 member countries in 1 January 2007 was a significant achievement in its role shaping the world’s global order. On the other hand, Indonesia’s domestic affairs, such as economic recovery, democratization process, and security instability due to separatism and terrorism, gave impact to each other’s foreign policy. In relation to the EU’s enlargement, Indonesia hopes that it will not make EU’s orientation to be “inward-looking” and undermine cooperation with developing countries, especially with ASEAN member countries, and Indonesia in particular. This enlargement is hoped to bring more benefit to its external partners. A steady EU would be a constructive factor in regional partnership, both in ASEAN - EU relationship, and Asia – Europe partnership in the context of ASEM. There are some primary points Indonesia puts as priority in this relationship, such as: Partnership Cooperation Agreement (PCA), flight ban on Indonesia’s airplanes, Country Strategy Paper (CSP), and bilateral trade and investment issues.
Progress of the Indonesian – EU Relations
Since year 2000, the EU has shown its desire to further enhance bilateral relations with Indonesia. As it was laid down in EU Communication 2000 titled “Developing Closer Relations between Indonesia and the European Union” as a further detail of its Asian strategy mentioned earlier in EC Communication titled “Europe and Asia: A Strategic Framework for Enhanced Partnership”. Indonesia keenly responded the EU’s appreciation to the progress made by the Indonesian government and expressed willingness to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation as constituted in the “RI-EU Joint Declaration” during the bilateral meeting between Foreign Minister Mr. Hasan Wirajuda and the External Commissioner of the European Commission, Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner in Luxembourg, June 14, 2000. The meeting agreed to establish a Bilateral Consultative Forum where senior officials from both sides hold technical dialogues in various fields of common interests. Substantial Indonesia – EU’s relationship improvement is marked clearly in a statement delivered by Indonesia’s and Dutch’s Foreign Ministers, when they met in Jakarta on August 2004. Both expressed that Indonesia and the EU share “common agenda”: democracy, human rights, environment, good governance and anti-terrorism. It is affirmed, in the meeting between the President of Indonesia and the President of European Commission in Jakarta, November 2007, that the relationship between Indonesia and EU is a strategic partnership that plays an important role in creating peace, stability, and regional and global development. The year of 2005 marked an important pace of Indonesia – EU partnership: EU gave a prompt response in granting aid when Tsunami hit Aceh and Nias. EU also supported peace process in Aceh, resulting in MoU signed by representatives from the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in Helsinki, Finland, August 15, 2005. EU put a big concern to the implementation of the MoU as shown in its participation in Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), together with some ASEAN member countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam). EU also supports the reintegration program for ex members of GAM. In 11 December 2005, EU sent EU – Election Observation Mission to participate in Aceh Governor Election Monitoring. Secretary General of EU Council expressed: ”The AMM is a new departure for the EU in more ways than one. Not only is it the first time that the European Union has deployed a mission in Asia, it is also the first time that we have worked in partnership with countries from the ASEAN. Five ASEAN countries: Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, provided monitors alongside the participation of European Countries”. EU is in the view that its partnership with ASEAN and Indonesia could be widely improved. In this regard, EU made a new comprehensive approach to enhance bilateral relations with South Asian Countries in various sector, including politic, economic, and culture. The reason why EU’s willing to make bilateral agreement is because EU bilateral cooperation with countries in the region that existed before was based on cooperation agreement in the framework of ASEAN: “EU – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand Cooperation Agreement (ASEAN member countries)” signed in Kuala Lumpur on March7,1980. The Comprehensive Partnership Agreement then discussed in an Indonesia – EU Troika Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Jakarta, March 2005, as a manifestation of the EU Council resolution mentioned. In the meeting both side have agreed to make a framework agreement on comprehensive partnership and agreement (PCA) that will serve as a strong legal basis to the development and enhancement of Indonesia – EU’ cooperation in the future. The last PCA consultation is held in Hamburg, Germany, 28 may 2007 and continued by diplomatic talk on 12 June 2007 to agree on the final version. Nevertheless, signing process of Indonesia – EU PCA has not come to its final form, due to the EU Aviation Safety Committee’s (ASC) decision to ban Indonesian airplanes to operate EU member countries area. This decision is put into effect on 6 July 2007 by the Commission Regulation No. 787/2007 dated 4 July 2007, just a few days before the signing of the PCA on 17 July 2007 in Jakarta. Through negotiations and betterment efforts done by the Department of Transportation of the Republic of Indonesia, ASC finally gave a recommendation to lift flight ban partially on four Indonesian national airplanes: Garuda Indonesia, Mandala Airlines, Premiair and Airfast Indonesia. With the regulation number 619/ 2009 dated 13 July 2009 published in Official journal of the European Union, the EU has officially lifted the flight ban on four Indonesian airplanes. The recommendation was an exhilarating result that made Indonesia and the EU finally agree to initial the PCA on 14 July 2009, at the end of the 8th Indonesia – EU Bilateral Consultative Meeting in Yogyakarta. The PCA was signed on 9 November 2009 in Jakarta by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Carl Bildt and officials of the European Commission. The PCA is a document containing commitment of the two entities in boosting a well planned and measured bilateral cooperation by affirming priorities and modalities to achieve mutual goals. It also reflects steady and cordial relations between Indonesia and the EU.
Bilateral Consultative Forum (Indonesia – EC SOM)
Indonesia – EU’s endeavour to further enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of trade and investment, as well as in the field of development is brought in the form of Bilateral Consultative Forum (BCF) between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the European Commission. For Indonesia, BCF is an imminent fora to discuss particularly the means of boosting Indonesia – EU relations and cooperation. The Bilateral Consultative Forum had been focused in exploring efforts to enhance mutual benefit in the field of trade, investment and development cooperation until its 6th meeting in Jogjakarta on March 22-23, 2007, where both sides began the dialogue on political issues as a new entry in the agenda of meeting. On May 13, 2008 Indonesia hosted the Directors Political Dialogue in Jakarta. The political dialogue has now given new color in Indonesia – EU relationship. On 13-14 April 2009, the 8th BCF was held in Yogyakarta to discuss various issues on mutual interests, such as: ASEAN, Myanmar, climate change, flight ban, food security, infectious and dangerous diseases (H1N1), visa regulations, as well as reviews on cooperation on development, trade and investment, and human rights.
Indonesia – EU Cooperation on Development
Indonesia – EU cooperation on development is one of the main pillars in the partnership. The concept of this cooperation is reflected in the nature as recipient driven and adjusted to Indonesian national development program. EU underlines the need to create a closer relation with Indonesia by promoting development cooperation program that supports democracy, good governance, social improvement and sustainable economy, as well as poverty eradication. As a follow up to the end of CSP program 2002-2006, EU adopted new CSP program 2007-2013 emphasizing on education, trade and investment, law enforcement and good governance. External Commissioner of the EU, Ms. Benita Ferrero Waldner, sent a letter approving CSP 2007-2013 and Multi-annual Indicative Program 2007-2010 on 15 May 2007. It is mentioned that the EC would increase financial aid in the framework of development cooperation to € 494 million in CSP program 2007-2013, that has been signed when the President of the EC Jose Manuel Barroso came to Jakarta in November 2007, and 248 million Euros in MIP 2007-2010.
The Role and Interest of Indonesia in the EU
As a regional form of cooperation in Europe, the EU has become a global major economic and political power. With its 27 member countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, French, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) of 499 million citizen and € 16,8 billion GDP (28% of the world’s GDP), the EU is now the biggest trading power that controls 20% of global export and import. The EU is an important market and one of the main foreign investors for Indonesia. Bilateral trade of the two entities in 2008 reached 20,14 billion Euros and keep on increasing from time o time. The EU is a potential export market for Indonesia and considered as the biggest market after the United States and Japan. Indonesia recorded US $ 15,45 billion on exports to the EU in 2008 and 7,5 billion Euros on imports. The EU that has achieved “a solid regional grouping” keep on consolidating through integration process in politic and economic sectors in order to reach its ambition uniting Europe under the EU. Likewise, a democratic and stable Indonesia is considered by EU as an important partner in the region. Together, Indonesia and the EU become important actors that continue to get closer to face global challenges ahead. Mutual interests and problems between Indonesia and the EU have created a common agenda on strengthening bilateral links that brings mutual benefits. For the EU, Indonesia is a democratic country with the largest Moslem population in the world, it has potentials to become regional security stability catalyst. This is one of the reason why the EU put more attention to Indonesian efforts in combating terrorism and separatism. Meanwhile, Indonesia sees the EU as a global economic and political power for it would be a good partner in achieving national interests. In relations with Asia, in recent years EU has shown ambitions to boost its political role in Southeast Asia by intensifying cooperation with ASEAN in order to maintain an international order based on effective multilateralism. In this context, Indonesia can play a strategic role in the effort to maintain stability and security in the region. The EU welcomes Indonesia’s democratic succession and reformation process for it opens more opportunities for EU to hold political dialogues with Indonesia. The EU put more attentions to the political development in Indonesia in particular to the democracy and human rights issues.