ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Delegate AEC mart supervision
Koo Jin Shen
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
EFFECTIVE regulation of an ASEAN single market requires empowered regional agencies under the ASEAN secretariat, said a report from the Asian Development Bank.
The ADB report, entitled ASEAN 2030: Towards a Borderless Economic Community, indicated that the new regional market that will be created by the ASEAN Economic Community “underscores the need for greater power to be delegated from members to ASEAN institution”.
It said that under the AEC, centralised agencies must be granted needed authority to effectively standardise and harmonise rules and regulations across the region as well as monitor the implementation of member countries’ agreements and commitments.
The report said that member countries will eventually need to realise that as ASEAN ambitions grow and its agenda widens, the gains from substituting national sovereignty with shared regional sovereignty in several distinct areas will increase dramatically.
“This is particularly true as cooperation on economic and social issues expands with respect to political and security issues,” it said.
However, it also noted that despite these benefits, “It must be made clear that it does not require the creation of a bloated regional bureaucracy, or an EU-like ASEAN”.
The report also noted that introducing sanctions as part of ASEAN’s working principles and mechanisms is important to ensure members’ regional and global commitments are enforced and disputes resolved.
“Once introduced, sanctions will be able to complement the ASEAN Way with the philosophy of adherence to the rule of law and support the introduction of a functioning dispute settlement mechanism as contemplated by the ASEAN Charter,” said the report.
It noted that as sanctions can be applied in many ways, ASEAN members need to discuss in detail which sanctioning model is most appropriate for improving the group’s efficiency and effectiveness. It argued that accepting the introduction of sanctions is a strategically important step as ASEAN matures as the overarching institution for Asian regionalism and called for the process not to be delayed further.
The report also called for introducing a proper monitoring and feedback system that objectively tracks members’ commitments over a less effective ‘scorecard’ system which depends on member country input.
“Also an effective feedback system within the ASEAN Secretariat and other common institutions would be able to better monitor the implementation of blueprints for the AEC as well as other two communities (socio-cultural and political-security).”
A feedback system can also be used to assess the impact of cooperation initiatives on ASEAN member countries to design appropriate compensatory schemes for those where initial costs outweigh the benefits of integration, it said.--The Brunei Times
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