You are here

Warning message

Attention! This event has already passed.

A Question of Sovereignty? The EU's Policy on Taiwan's Participation in International Organizations

Monday, 4 July, 2011 - 11:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Faculty: Social Sciences and Solvay Business School
Sigrid Winkler
phd defence

Taiwan’s path into international organizations has been a stony one. Only some of the states that
have diplomatic relations with Taipei have given their full support to its membership: other
countries, while they may have an interest in seeing Taiwan integrated in certain ways into
specific international organizations, have to balance this stance with their “one China” policy.
This is the case, for example, with the European Union (EU). From an EU perspective, Taiwan’s
problematic sovereignty is the overarching problem when trying to formulate support for
Taipei’s participation in international organizations.

This research introduces an innovative tripartite conceptualization of sovereignty within which to
frame the problem: international legal sovereignty based on the recognition of statehood;
domestic sovereignty, understood as a domestic government’s authority and control over its own
territory and population; and functional sovereignty, meaning the ability of a non-recognized
state to conduct international relations, but usually only on specific issues. Viewing sovereignty
from this perspective not only helps to explain the EU’s stance on Taiwan’s quest for greater
participation in international organizations – it is also used here to analyze the factors most likely
to shape EU policy on Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.

In three case-studies – of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Agreement on Government
Procurement (GPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – this doctoral dissertation
studies six factors that shape European policy on Taiwan’s participation in international
organizations. Two of these factors are internal to the EU: its own decision-making processes
and its interest in Taiwan’s participation in particular international organizations. Four external
factors also influence EU policy: the membership criteria of the international organizations in
question; changes in the Taiwanese campaign in relation to these organizations; the Chinese
position, and the role of the United States.

PDF icon Winkler_a.pdf