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European Union’s values in its policies towards China and Taiwan: not such an ‘empty speech’ Anna Rudakowska Assistant Professor Dept. of Global Politics.

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Presentation on theme: "European Union’s values in its policies towards China and Taiwan: not such an ‘empty speech’ Anna Rudakowska Assistant Professor Dept. of Global Politics."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Union’s values in its policies towards China and Taiwan: not such an ‘empty speech’ Anna Rudakowska Assistant Professor Dept. of Global Politics and Economics, Tamkang University, Taiwan

2 EU’s self representation Reference to values: peace, liberty, democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms “Empty speech”

3 Arms embargo on China Embargo on arms sales imposed by the EC in 1989 Proposal to lift the ban by Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder in 2003

4 Values or Interests? Or another perspective on values

5 Traditional approach to values The force of values Compliance Non- compliance

6 Values are more than only ‘causes’ for actions They serve to ‘make demands, rally support, justify action, ascribe responsibility, and assess the praiseworthy or blameworthy character of an action’. Kratochwil (1984: 686)

7 Discourse analysis to answer the question: Whether values constitutive to the EU’s self representation vis-à-vis China and Taiwan, such as human rights and democracy, were perceived by the EU’s institutions as valid justifications in the debate on arms embargo and as such legitimized some actions and revoked others or different set of ideas performed this function?

8 Theoretical framework & methodology Discursive practices of the Council of Ministers (the Council) and the European Parliament (EP) Parliamentary Questions tabled between December 2003 and December 2005 and the Council’s Responses to these questions How subjects of the debate (EU, EU’s institutions, China and Taiwan) are referred linguistically and what characteristics are attributed to them? Predications of a noun and the argumentative strategies applied by both institutions to endow their claims with authority and evidentiality.

9 Findings 1. Interpretation of China and Taiwan The Council presented China in a positive light in order to: o justify the cooperation with Beijing o discuss the lifting of the ban The Members of the EP (MEPs) in negative, via lenses of ‘European values’, in order to: make their input into the debate relevant despite the lack of EP’s decision making powers with respect to arms embargoes

10 Findings 2. Construction of the EU The Council and the Members of the EP (MEPs) interpreted the EU’s responsibilities along the lines of EU’s self representation with reference to values of human rights and democracy.

11 The relevance of the EU’s self- representation What is the ‘right’ thing to do for all the institutions? 1.The Council was expected to act in agreement with the practices appropriate for the actor that presents its role in relations with China and Taiwan with reference to certain values. 2.The value judgments of the Council by the EP were recognized as legitimate => the consequences for the reputation of the Council 3.The Council and member states’ competency to promote values had to be defended

12 Conclusions Values of human rights and democracy constitutive to the EU’s self-representation with respect to China were crucial for the argumentation of the Council and of the EP. Not only the set of formal institutional prerogatives, but also the EU’s values guide patterns of interaction between the EP and the Council. Thus, we can talk about the political consequences of the EU’s strong emphasis on human rights and democracy in its self-representation versus China and Taiwan

13 Thank you! Anna Rudakowska mobile:


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