Indonesia’s Strategy toward the EU: Anti-Colonialism, Non-Alignment and Equal Partnership

Indonesia’s Strategy toward the EU: Anti-Colonialism, Non-Alignment and Equal Partnership

image

14b.Strategi Indonesia terhadap Uni Eropa

  • Author: Evi Fitriani
  • Publication Year: 2015
  • Editor: Hungdah Su
  • Book Title: Asian Countries’ Strategies towards the European Union in an Inter-Regionalist Context
  • Publication Place: Taipei
  • Publisher: National Taiwan University Press
  • Language: English
  • Short Description:

The chapter points out three major factors shaping Indonesian diplomacy toward the EU: its anti-colonialist tradition; its adherence to non-alignment position; and the president’s personal intervention. Insisting upon anti-colonialism, Indonesia has never accepted criticsm from the EU on human rights or the promotion of European values. Motivated by a spirit of non-alignment, Indonesia refused to ally with the West to contain communism during the Cold War, and is reluctant to be part of the EU-US coalition, and the US pivot to contain a rising China today. Given these preconditions, the president can shape Indonesian strategy toward the EU. For example, Habibie and Yudhoyono were more inclined to compromise under EU pressure, while Sukarno dared to enter into conflict with Netherlands over West Papua. As for Suharto, he preferred to draw closer to the EU, and simultaneously exploited ASEAN as a multilateral platform to strengthen Indonesia’s position vis-a-vis the EU. As Indonesia is now recognized a full democracy, a moderate Islamic country, and represents ASEAN in the G20, Indonesia seems to be more confident in its diplomacy toward the EU in spite of disagreements over human rights and environmental protection. In the days ahead, it will continue to adhere to its anti-colonial tradition and spirit of non-alignment, and expand person-to-person contact in its diplomatic relations with the EU.