• ASEAN Economic Community

Partnerships of economic powers in Asia-Pacific

Ho Chi Minh Colloquium, Ho Chi Minh University of Law: 25-26 November 2019 Chiang Mai Colloquium, Chiang Mai University: 28-29 November 2019

Under the aegis of

The French and Japanese Legal Network of Tours (Nihon-Europa)

and the multi-disciplinary network "Nouvelles Dynamiques Partenariales Externes de l'UE en Asie-Pacifique" (NODYPEX) of Rennes

This event is a continuation of the actions still undertaken by

the two networks, in Hanoi, Tours and Rennes


General introduction

The European Union has concluded or will conclude several political and economic partnership agreements with Asia-Pacific countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Mexico). Political or strategic partnership agreements have already been signed with all these countries except Mexico and Chile, which are contracting parties to a single agreement, and economic partnership agreements have been finalized with South Korea, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.  

This dense network of agreements, constituting the EU-Asia-Pacific pole, cannot be understood without coordination with the many agreements concluded or to be concluded between the various partners in the same region, and first of all the agreements concluded between the ASEAN countries and between ASEAN and its third partners in the area.  

In parallel with the EU-Asia-Pacific and ASEAN poles, a third pole is emerging, which is divided into three overlapping groups: one group, led by Japan and Canada, with the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP), another group led by China, with the Global Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) and a group around the United States, with the recent US-Canada-Mexico Agreement (EUCM), and the South Korean American Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).   

The whole problem is to know how these different poles, in constitution, which group together more than 80% of the world economy, are organized. More specifically, are the Euro Asian agreements as well as those with the American Pacific countries (CETA with Canada, revised global agreement with Mexico, future revised association agreement with Chile) built  according to the same model as those of other regional partnerships of the EU and third countries? Do they have a specificity in terms of their content? How are these partnerships organised in the form of "Olympic rings", given that the European Union and several Asia Pacific States are located in several rings at the same time?

The distribution of the themes envisaged in the two conferences is more in line with organisational needs than with legal coherence.  



Draft programme of the Ho Chi Minh Colloquium, Ho Chi Minh University of Law:

25-26 November 2019


More specifically, in terms of architecture, do the EU-Asia-Pacific agreements demonstrate originality with their system of plural agreements, namely a partnership and cooperation agreement (PCA) or a strategic partnership agreement (SPA) and a free trade agreement (FTA) and an agreement on investment protection in relation to the construction of other agreements that may be developed under different rules? What are the convergences between the rights recognized in the various agreements and how are they transcribed into national laws?  

Axis 1:   

Comparative study of the architecture of partnership agreements: EU-Asia-Pacific, ASEAN, EUCM, KORUS, Comprehensive and Progressive Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP)

As an example:  

  • Differentiated commitments of partners in partnership agreements ? comparative between EU agreements, CPTPP and EUCM  

  • Binding and non-bindingprovisions in theseagreements

  • Legal effects of these agreements (direct applicability or not) ?  

Axis 2:  

Comparative study of some of the contents of partnership agreements in the environmental, climate, sustainable development, social and human rights fields

As an example:

  • The effectiveness of the implementation of ILO social conventions (1998 Declaration) and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)  

  • Promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR)

  • The Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Axis 3:  

Comparative study of the procedures for transposing the provisions of partnership agreements into national law

As an example:  

  • Compensation law.  

  • Commercial diversion.  

  • Sustainable development.