Year Ender - Looking into progress in Indonesia-EU cooperation

20 December, 2018 | Source: Antara News

The European Union (EU) and Indonesia have developed cooperation agreements in various sectors in the past several years as outlined in the European Union-Indonesia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).

The 3rd Joint Committee was already formed in the framework of the European Union-Indonesia PCA on December 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting was opened and jointly chaired by Director General for American and European Affairs of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry Muhammad Anshor and Managing Director for Asia and Pacific of the European External Action Service Gunnar Wiegand.

On that occasion, the EU conveyed condolence on the tragic losses of many lives in the natural disasters in Lombok and Palu and expressed solidarity and support in the process of recovering the devastated areas.

Muhammad Anshor said that at the meeting of the 3rd Joint Committee the EU and Indonesian delegations reviewed the existing cooperation and considered initiative to promote cooperation in various fields in the future.

Concerning cooperation in security, the Third Meeting of the Indonesia-EU Security Dialog which was held in Jakarta on November 29 in 2018 recorded an increase in interactions and bilateral cooperation over the issues related to security as reflected in the comprehensive agenda such as in Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), maritime security, counter terrorism, organized crimes, narcotics policy, disaster control, and consulate protection.

Meanwhile, the EU and Indonesia commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both sides welcomed open and constructive exchange of information during the annual event of the Human Rights Dialog and the two-day seminar with theme "Addressing Hate Speech and Disinformation with a Rights-based Approach" in October, 2018 in Jakarta. The next Human Right Dialog of Indonesia-EU would be held in Brussels in 2019.

In addition, the EU and Indonesia have recorded progress in the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA), which aims to open big potential of bilateral cooperation in investment, growth and sustainable development. The 7th round of negotiations would take place in Brussels in March 11-15 in 2019.

Both sides expressed satisfaction with the increase in the involvement of and cooperation in "circular economy" and maritime fields. Circular economy is an alternative to traditional linear economy (make, use, cast off), and be replaced with activities keeping resources, for sustainability, extract maximum value from resource when used and recover and regenerate products and material at the end of each cycle of process.

On palm oil issue, the EU explained attempt already taken concerning Delegated Act under the Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II). In reaction to that the government of Indonesia stressed the importance of palm oil for the country`s economy and policy to ensure the sustainability aspect of palm oil.

The Indonesian government then expressed concern with the EU policy of RED II and Delegated especially with the use of the criteria "Low Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) risk" as the basis of development of new certificate for conventional bio-fuel. The policy in Indonesia`s view, tended to discriminate against palm oil in favor of other bio-fuel products. Therefore, the government of Indonesia and the EU agreed to continue cooperation in the important and sensitive issue.

The government of Indonesia appreciated the decision of the European Commission in June 2018 to lift all certificated airlines in Indonesia from the black list of EU Safety List after improvement made in the system of flight safety meeting the international standards.

Anshor said Indonesia and the EU appreciate the quality of development cooperation being in progress in the good governance, reformation of public fund management, climate change and trade-related assistance.

One example of progress made in development cooperation by the two sides is in blended finance project with development banks of the member countries of the EU supporting key reform and "One Platform SDG" of Indonesia.

Indonesia and the EU also welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the European Investment Bank and the government of Indonesia, which determines financing frame for key investment projects in the green infrastructure sector.

In the issue of environment and climate change, the EU and Indonesia see the efforts to achieve the target of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and steps to mitigate impact of climate change as an important goal.

Therefore, in the second Working Group on the Environment and Climate Change in March, 2018, in Brussels, the EU and Indonesia discussed in particular the low emission policy, long term climate strategy, sustainable finance, adaptation strategy, fauna and flora diversity, forestry, circular economy and cooperation under G20 related to topics of mutual interest.

Both sides also specially recorded the final report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in urgent requirement to promote cooperation, ambition and implementation of climate action.

The EU and Indonesia have succeeded in reaching Voluntary Partnership Agreement for the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), which begin to be effective two years earlier. The agreement constituted a successful scheme in the global struggle against illegal felling of trees and trade of timber products.

In order to continue Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Indonesia and the EU, delegations of the two sides agreed to hold a Joint Commission meeting in Jakarta in 2019.


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