Conclusion on Norms of Decision Making Process in EU and ASEAN

In decision making, both the European Union and the ASEAN have long standing norms
that have been ingrained in their decision making process. Both are inter-governmental
negotiating bodies, however, their similarities end there.
The EU follows a more structured and restricted decision making process that is founded
upon a strict and clear purpose. Even with firm decision making instruments in place, making
decisions is not that straight forward, in fact it is the opposite. It involves an arduous process that
goes through different layers of discourse. Here there two primary bodies to be considered, the
European Parliament and the European Council. This is so, because the European Union acts as a
quasi-state entity that actually passes laws that its members and some other states must follow.
Being made up of sovereign states, it is the only one of its kind in allowing international popular
elections. The Union, much like any legislative body in any state actively consults with non-
governmental organizations, local authorities and representatives from the private and civil
sector. The political make-up and structure of the EU makes this strict and rigid decision making
process not only appropriate but essential.
The ASEAN on the other hand has more conservative policies. As a political and
economic body, the ASEAN has set procedures in decision making, albeit not as rid as the EU’s.
It’s make-up is more of the traditional international organization where interference in domestic
affairs are kept at a minimum if not totally avoided. The role of the ASEAN is more of a
supervisor and mediator rather than that of a director. This can be understandable since the
majority of its member states have just recently, relative speaking, acquired independence. That
is why sovereignty of each of its members is emphasized. Decision making revolves around the
concept of the “ASEAN way” and basically everything else. You only need to know two words,
consensus and consultation.
Overall as a system, the European Union is more advanced and conductive to the needs
of its region. The ASEAN have long stood criticism about its “soft policies”. But it’s completely
fine with that. Their disparity lies upon the distinct objectives their respective transnational
organizations are based on. From the get-go, the objective of the EU to become a supreme entity
that holds significant International power was evident. Every element of this entity is geared
towards a quasi-state and only time will if it will surpass that.

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