Tuesday 24 May 2022 | 08:55 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 24 May 2022 | 08:55 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Union or Community?


Sam Roggeveen


6 June 2008 15:48

Dominic Meagher from East Asia Forum writes:

Your comment in this piece is heartening: 'The instinct to enmesh the region in structures that will help prevent conflict with China, rather than just preparing for it, is the right one.'

But I want to call you on an error. The PM hasn't called for an Asia Pacific Union. He's called for building an Asia Pacific Community. This is an important difference. The European Union is a much more politically integrated institution than the European Community ever was. Promoting the idea that the PM is calling for a Union, not a Community, makes the concept vulnerable to the argument that it is politically impossible, an argument which I've called The Australian on here.

Dominic's right, though I note that I did clarify this in my post of this morning. Rudd must have known he was inviting this kind of exaggeration when he mentioned the EU, but I can also see why he did it. As unlikely as an Asia-Pacific Community must seem, things didn't look too good for political cooperation (let alone integration) in early post-war Europe either.