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Analysis of EU Development Cooperation Agenda towards Pakistan 1990 to date
28. July 2018 at 23:57
For more than a decade the European Union has begun to widen its relations with Asian countries, specifically with Pakistan, beyond being merely a trading partner. In fact, the European Union is Pakistan’s one of the major trading partners.
With the beginning of the 21st century, the EU has comprehended it needs to progress stronger and wider policies with Asian countries. Pakistan has been on the brim of the EU’s policy in Asia. Its interest in the country has grown-up mainly because of the presence of European troops in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, the link with home-grown terrorism and robust US and British insistence that the EU should help soothe the country. United States’ aid to Pakistan has been unequal, with periods of high disbursement of funds and periods of aid stoppage.

Irrespective of economic aid, significant military assistance has made it subject to reproach from Pakistan’s viewpoint, although it is just what Islamabad has mainly demanded from Washington. After the US Congress approved what is known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill that was passed in2009, the US Administration decided to separate refuge from development aid. The EU’s viewpoint has chosen to tail a different path from the US. Yet, regardless of their dissimilar tactics, both partners shall subsidize Pakistan’s stability.

The foundation and bottleneck of the European Union’s development is a democracy. Therefore, the basis for the agreements between the EU and Pakistan is dint of efforts, taken for the sustainability of democracy and its underneath values: respect for human rights, good administration in the form of a satisfactory governance and the commandment of the law. Since 1995, the democracy and human rights clauses have been in the foreign policy and the development cooperation of EU.

The promotion of democracy has become a key element of the EU’s development cooperation with Pakistan, not only because of its added value but also because of security concerns. In October 2009 the European Parliament adopted a resolution called ‘Democracy-building in external relations’. The paper formally called for the coordination of its external action with the promotion of democratic values, human rights, and development policy instruments. Among other principles, it endorsed the UN’s definition of democracy (Peiro, 2015). This paper, hence, aims to highlight the bottleneck factors which are the milestone for this cooperation.

Based on structuralism and behaviorists approaches, as shown in research onion, the hypothesis can be formulated that ““the principal barrier to Pak-EU relations is stoppage between their contact; strengthening their networking due to a long or far distance between both the parties”.

The objectives of formulating this study are
1. To describe the variables
2. Fostering the factors affecting the Pak-EU relations
3. Describe the patterns that cause troughs and crests in Pak-EU relations
4. To find out the variables strengthening Pak-EU relations

Since we have created a hypothesis based on previous experiences of Pak-EU relations hence it follows a deductive approach in this research. The deductive approach is seen as the development from general to specific theory and knowledge base is first established and the very specific knowledge gained from the research process is then tested and observed it in the light of research. And the approach we have chosen is a case study where the research project is concerned with examining whether the observed phenomena fit with expectation based upon previous research. To further investigate the issue, we would incorporate a qualitative approach; that aims to investigate how the respondent interprets their own reality.

Since action research is characterized as a practical approach to a specific research problem within a community of practice (Bryman, 2012). It involves examining practice to establish that it corresponds to the best approach. It tends to involve reflective practice, which is a systematic process by which the professional practice and experience of the practitioners can be assessed. This form of research is common in professions such as teaching or nursing, where the practitioner can assess the ways in which they can improve their professional approach and understanding.

Review of Literature:
There is an abundant literature work which has been done on formulating factors that affect Pak-EU relations. For the purpose of this study, we shall keep intact to the fundamental understanding of ‘Pak-EU relations’, the emergence of their relations, and the methodology in this research, which is relevant to this study. The EU accounts for 20% of Pakistani external trade with Pakistani exports to the EU amounting to €3.4 billion, mainly textiles, medical equipment and leather products) and EU exports to Pakistan amounting to €3.8 billion (mainly mechanical and electrical equipment, and chemical and pharmaceutical products. (Commission, European Commission, 2018)

The EU is Pakistan's most important trading partner, accounting for 12.8% of Pakistan's total trade in 2015 and absorbing 23.7% of Pakistan's total exports. In 2016, Pakistan was the EU's 41th largest trading partner in goods accounting for 0.3% of EU trade. Pakistani exports to the EU are dominated by textiles and clothing, accounting for 82% of Pakistan's total exports to the EU in 2016. Pakistan's imports from the EU are mainly comprised of machinery and transport equipment (40.2% in 2016) as well as chemicals (19.5% in 2016).

From 2006 to 2016, EU28 imports from Pakistan have almost doubled from €3,319 to €6,273 million. The growth of imports from Pakistan has been particularly fast since the award of GSP+ (€5,515 million in 2014) (Commission, Countries, and regions: Pakistan, 2018). European cooperation towards Pakistan has a long lasting and one of the successful tenures in terms of economic, social and political cooperation to achieve a sustainable and long-lasting ever-growing bilateral growth, where both, Pakistan and entire region of EU, gets benefit out of such policies.

This partnership between the European Union and Pakistan has progressed since 1962 in an attempt with the European integration process. In order to further strengthen EU-Pakistan relations, the two sides in 2012 adopted a five years Engagement Plan with the common goal of building a strategic partnership for peace and development rooted in shared values, principles and commitments. To give it a ever growing turn both the sides are showing a serious attention towards achieving pursuit of inclusive and continuous growth determined to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Pakistan and Europe, resolved to ensure the economic and social progress of the both giant groups by common action to eliminate barriers which deteriorate the image of both the sides and affirming the essential objective of their efforts The constant improvements of the living and working condition of their people while recognizing that. The removal of existing obstacles calls for concerted action in order to guarantee steady expansion, balanced trade and long lasting fairness in competition; in terms of economic growth and safety for people of both the sides.

The cooperation has been indulged in activities which could strengthen the unity of their economies while ensuring their harmonious development by reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of less-favoured regions. The plans and policies formed as a result of such cooperation, are desired to contribute by means of a common commercial policy, to the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade. It has raised as one of the crucial components behind the continuous growth of nations existing on the universe.

Such Engagement Plan aims at facilitating cooperation on a wide range of issues, including democracy, human rights, rule of law, socio-economic cooperation, energy, counter-terrorism, and migration. In order to implement the plan, a wide range of political dialogues are carried out at all levels from ad-hoc summits between the heads of state and government to sectoral dialogues at the technical level between experts in different fields. Such engagement plan also tries to ensure a balance between concerns of both sides that is countering terrorism and achieve a continuous economic growth for Pakistan and for EU to stand out among developed parts of the world.

Hence, today the EU and Pakistan are not only partners in trade GSP+ but also important political and development partners. Both the partners, Pakistan and European Union, are showing their serious concern in particular in areas such as access to justice, freedom of religion or belief and the rights of women and girls and providing education and economic opportunities for all people living the both regions. (EU-Pakistan Political Relations, n.d.).

The fast-going world, steeping towards a tough economic competition requires a nation to work on its economic success which can mainly be positively impacted by increasing exports: In this regard; the EU is one of Pakistan's largest trading partners and the biggest market for Pakistani exports. Overall EU-Pakistan trade reached €10.49 billion in 2015, up by 20.1% from 2013.
Pakistan's exports to the EU are heavily dependent on textile and clothing products, which account for 76% of all exports.

The main imports from the EU are machinery and appliances (25.5%), followed by transport equipment (16.5%), and chemicals & pharmaceuticals (15.5%). (Pakistan and the EU, 2016).
Such bilateral cooperation also ensures the humanitarian aid since 2009, the EU has provided Pakistan with €537 million of humanitarian aid, including an allocation of €21.5 million for 2016. Relief items have also been channeled to flood victims.

In 2016, the EU continued to support people affected by conflict and those suffering from malnutrition and food insecurity, as well as Afghan refugees in the country. It offers:
• food assistance,
• access to safe drinking water,
• sanitation facilities,
• shelter,
• health-care, and
• protection to conflict-displaced families. (Pakistan and EU, 2016)

The relationship between the EU and Pakistan has shown a drastic growth in previous years; in the dimensions of politics, sustainability of the democracy in the region and equal development among all the nations; inhabiting in the region and the last and the most important is the development of the nation, while supporting the peace mission of entire South Asia. However, the EU is regarded as a strong economic player but it is still seen as a weak political power. The EU intends to change that opinion by using its place as a development and aid donor as of the main policy to foster democracy and strengthen Pakistan’s institution-building. The main areas of collaboration are development, trade, humanitarian assistance and sectoral co-operation on energy, environment, health, transport, migration and climate change. The challenge for both partners is to get to know each other and build up mutual trust as both are the important part of their regions.
Cite This Article As: Muhammad Attique Shah. "Analysis of EU Development Cooperation Agenda towards Pakistan 1990 to date." International Youth Journal, 28. July 2018.

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