SAARC AND EU. WHAT DO YOU THINK SOCIAL SCIENTISTS?

2 May

FOR SOME GOD FORSAKEN REASON, I WAS REMINDED OF MY FINAL YEAR THESIS, WHICH USELESSLY LIES IN MY CUPBOARD TILL TODAY. I HAVE PASTED A FEW EXCERPTS FROM IT TO GIVE YOU A ‘ROUGH’ IDEA OF WHAT IT WAS ABOUT. ITS KEY PLAYERS INCLUDED SAARC AND EU, BOTH ARE SIGNIFICANT REGIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN TODAY’S WORLD. HOWEVER EU SEEMS TO HAVE A STRONGER GROUND AND STANCE THAN SAARC, WHICH IS WHY I CHOSE EU AS AN EXEMPLARY MODEL FOR THE DEVELOPING SOUTH ASIAN SOCIETY WITH RELEVANCE TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.

*SAARC- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

*EU- European Union

“The historical development of a myriad of events and efforts shaped the progressive yet gradual significance of ‘Environment’ as a thriving hot topic in the International scenario. Primary efforts can be traced back to the nineteenth century whereby international commissions for the Rhine and Danube Rivers were established, moreover the International Joint Commission between the US and Canada came together in 1909 to focus upon boundary problems plus environmental issues linked to shared waters.

 One of the greatest breakthroughs that led towards the realization of sustainable development was the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’; it also highlighted the depletion of resources and came up with proposals to resolve this dilemma. “Yet thirty five years after Hardin’s suggestions were published, the struggle for multi level environmental governance continues”, therefore the authors emphasize that despite initial proposals of environmental preservation, forces are still determined to implement environmental governance whereby the environment is treated as a facet that requires proper direction and governing authority like other significant aspects such as economy, politics and social issues…

 Whilst some regional alliances like European Union began to flourish earlier, others like SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) were formed in 1985 where cultural, social, economic and technological facets are embedded whilst other themes such as environment are gradually reaching pace with other issues. This alliance consists of 8 members and is in great minority when compared to EU especially due to its geographical position. Most of South Asia is a victim of deeply entrenched problems such as poverty, under development, economic backwardness and human rights violations; therefore they don’t rank environmental problems in the same significant context as developed regional organizations such as European Union…

Hypothesis:

European Union is a contributor that has constantly tried hard to make environmental improvements. This statement personifies EU as a regional organization that has potential to share its activity in an environmental direction; it further suggests that EU is willing to lead its organization towards environmental betterment. This whole research focuses on EU activities in order to justify that it has formulated a strong position especially within an environmental aspect and can be seen as a role model for feeble regional organizations like SAARC…

Research Methodology:

Every research concentrates on a certain type of methodology, out of the many methodologies this research focuses upon the ‘Descriptive Methodology’. Most of the research describes numerous events, treaties, abstracts from agreements and perceptions of certain writers. Particular dates and personalities have been mentioned, hence adding up to the descriptive aspect of the research, however Chapter 1 and 2 are particularly based on in-depth description of EU’s historical activities …

Research Questions:

Numerous questions need to be acknowledged and better yet answered; this research aims to answer many of these questions through its theme-oriented chapters and analyses. These questions probe into the environmental nature of EU and SAARC’s clogged up potential within this sphere of global or regional concern.

1)      Is the EU capable of representing environmental efforts?

AND THERE WERE MORE POINTS TOO WHICH HAVEN’T BEEN INCLUDED DUE TO COPYRIGHT PURPOSES EVEN THOUGH MY THESIS IS NOT A PUBLICATION, (I SECRETLY HOPE IT WILL BE SOMEDAY). 😀

Literature Review:

This research encompassed various books in its inception; however some were more helpful in others and have been used more frequently quoted than others. Some of the books include Environmental Policy in the European Union Actors, Institutions and Processes edited by Andrew Jordan (Second Edition), as the title suggests focus on the environment, its attached interest lies within EU as an institution and its development. This book builds up on the historical details of the EU from an environmental perspective, much of Chapter 2 and 3 are centralized around its primary growth as an institution. The research draws much of its information from these special chapters which expose the environmental vulnerability of EU during its beginning. The editor manages to blend various dimensions of EU in the book hence portraying a multi dimensional source of information, not only does it provide historical details, but it elaborates on its structure and policies towards the environment. Chapter 5 of the book is titled as ‘The Role of the European Court of Justice’, hence dedicating a complete portion of the book to the legal framework that exists within EU. This is a reflection of how this book explores corners of the EU, additionally the fact that different writers contribute their ideas in the shape of chapters within the book allow fresh and innovative perceptions to seep within the reader. The compilation of various authors into one book is not a new concept; however this piece of literature expresses the environmental integrity and potential within EU through different perspectives hence taking full advantage of this ‘concept’. Disparity is drawn within the book through ‘Parts’, for instance Part 1 dwells on ‘The Historical and Institutional Context’, whilst Part 2 directs itself towards the ‘Actors’ within EU, moreover Part 3 appreciates the ‘Policy Dynamics’ which is further complimented by Part 4 ‘Making EU Environmental Policy’. Lastly Part 5 encompasses ‘Future Challenges’, all these Parts have been mentioned in order to review the details that the book holds which cover history, legal workings, policies and challenges or proposals that EU is struggling with.

The other book which has majorly contributed to this research is The Greening of the European Union? Examining the EU’s Environmental Credentials by Jon Burchell and Simon Lightfoot, although it doesn’t include the input of various authors it most certainly creates a link and critique over the environment and EU. Similar to the first book mentioned, this book also elaborates upon the historical tracings of EU but it also builds up on comparatively recent issues like Amsterdam Treaty or Nice Treaty. More importantly it highlights ‘Green Agenda’ numerous times in the book which is further explained by analysis on ‘green’ countries within the EU. It also sketches legal workings of the EU and projects a few cases in the ECJ, allowing readers to view EU as a whole institution that functions in varied aspects whilst keeping environment in the mainframe. It does deal with many issues that the former book puts in limelight; however the authors in this book formulate the manuscript in a comparatively brief manner with short analyses and sub headings.

Sustainable Development: Bridging the Research/Policy Gaps in Southern Contexts, Volume 1: Environment by Oxford Press comprised of various authors contributing to different themes and chapters in the book. It gave South Asia and SAARC and environmental outlook. It dealt with sustainability on agriculture, security, regulation and many other topics which permitted a deeper understanding of South Asian problems through an environmental prism.

Other books have also been taken into consideration however their references in the research account for sufficient literature review since they have not been analyzed as deeply as the books mentioned in the above paragraphs. But certain websites have played a huge role in providing accurate and reliable information on both regional organizations EU and SAARC, these sites have been mentioned below.

 

http://europa.eu/index_en.

http://www.saarc-sec.org/

Last note on the Introduction:

The aim of this research is to bring to attention a few if not all the efforts that have been invested by the European Union, their policy making and conventions’ participations will be focused upon. Moreover this paper will analyze the intense and growing relationship between EU and the environment as a ‘low politics’ issue. Not only has EU exemplified the status of regional alliances but it has also altered the approach towards environment through its bordered efforts. “

MY QUESTION TO ALL THOSE WHO ACTUALLY WENT THROUGH THIS PIECE IS, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF REGIONAL COOPERATION WITHIN SOUTH ASIA? I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM ALL OF YOU 🙂 I’M OPEN TO ALL KINDS OF IDEAS, QUERIES!

LEAVE COMMENTS AND EMAIL ME TOO AT: todayisnow2@gmail.com

References only relevant to the excerpt pieces:

*Garrett Hardin was an ecologist who came up with the concept of “Tragedy of the Commons”.

 

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One Response to “SAARC AND EU. WHAT DO YOU THINK SOCIAL SCIENTISTS?”

  1. heart2woman May 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on Crimes of being a woman and commented:

    South Asia, where is it going?! Follow this blog and leave your ideas 🙂

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