EU-Malaysia Partnership & Cooperation Agreement Negotiations

Alongside the Free Trade Agreement, negotiations are also underway between the EU and Malaysia on a Partnership & Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which will pave the way for closer cooperation in a wide range of fields.

When finalised, the PCA will provide unique opportunities to expand the EU’s engagement in a number of areas of mutual interest with Malaysia such as trade cooperation, energy, science & technology, migration, counter-terrorism, human rights, good governance, anti-corruption, trafficking in persons and non-proliferation. The agreement will also strengthen EU-Malaysia policy dialogue on environment, green technology and climate change. A finalised PCA will underline the maturity of the EU's relations with Malaysia, entering a new stage, and as such constitute a symbol of deeper mutual commitment. Where EU-Malaysia relations are presently still governed under an EC-ASEAN Agreement from 1980, it will provide a modernised up to date framework for an expanding and important EU-Malaysia relationship.

The PCA is the EU's first bilateral framework agreement with Malaysia of such a comprehensive and strategic nature. This clearly shows the EU's firm commitment to engage not only with South East Asia but also with the whole of Asia, including China in a more meaningful manner based on mutual partnership and understanding. These agreements reflect the characteristics and interests of each country while are based on shared principles such as equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, democracy, rule of law and human rights.

In the ASEAN region, the EU has signed a PCA with Indonesia, and concluded negotiations with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand. The negotiations with Brunei are in a concluding stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the real added value for Malaysia to sign a PCA with the EU?
The PCA will open a new strategic and political framework for EU-Malaysia relations. This agreement can actually be seen as the legal umbrella for future cooperation in which the FTA will constitute an essential pillar. The PCA will also enhance Malaysia becoming a privileged partner for Europe. As Malaysia advances towards becoming a developed nation by 2020, it would provide a better framework for cooperation with the EU on global issues of common concern and thus assist Malaysia in this process. The EU has witnessed some important positive developments in this regard with the opening of new cooperation and dialogue areas such as climate change, green technology and scientific cooperation. Cooperation on global and multilateral issues has also expanded like G20, Middle East, Mindanao Peace Process and Afghanistan.

The themes covered by the PCA are complex and very comprehensive. How long will it take to conclude an agreement?
The EU’s experience in South East Asia has shown that negotiations last between 18-24 months depending on the sensitivities of certain themes which require longer in-depth dialogue. Each other's profound understanding is a must for a meaningful partnership. The EU understands that some areas are particular for Malaysia. As one of the key principles of PCA negotiations is mutual respect, the EU is committed to arrive to an understanding which is of mutual benefit for both parties. As Malaysia is negotiating the FTA and the PCA in parallel, this process requires intensive coordination from both sides. This is the first time ever that negotiations are taking place in this manner.

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