Japan has long considered the United Kingdom (UK) to be one of its closest international partners, and its “gateway” to the European Union (EU) single and affluent market of over 400 million consumers. The UK’s decision to leave the EU following the Brexit referendum of June 2016 is forcing Japan to revisit its relationships with both the UK and the EU. The months since the Brexit negotiations formally began last spring have seen an intensification of official visits and bilateral negotiations between Japan, the EU and the UK, and the successful negotiation of an EU-Japan free trade agreement (the European Partnership Agreement –EPA), EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), as well as two UK-Japan Joint Declarations on Prosperity and Security Cooperation.
While Brexit negotiations will continue until at least the fall of 2018, some patterns and scenarios for the future Japan-Europe cooperation are starting to emerge. The presentation will focus on the economic, political and security consequences of Brexit for Japan’s interests, and how these dynamics impact the country’s engagement with Europe. In the process, it will answer the questions: What are the opportunities presented by this cooperation, and what are its limits? How sustainable is it likely to prove? Finally, the talk will briefly address the implications for Japan’s and Europe’s closest ally, the United States.
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – Hitachi Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA)
Irina Angelescu is a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – Hitachi Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), where she focuses on the impact of Brexit on Europe-Japan relations. Irina has covered European and transatlantic relations for more than a decade, most recently as Political Program Specialist for the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Mission to the European Union (USEU) in Brussels. She previously worked for more than four years at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, as a consultant for other leading think tanks in the U.S. and Europe, and as Research Fellow at the European Center of Excellence of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. Irina is the author and co-editor of numerous publications on European foreign policy and transatlantic relations, including The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Europe’s Role in the World (Brookings Institution Press, 2012) and Facets of Migration in Contemporary Europe: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Specific Challenges (ibidem-Verlag, 2010). She has a BA from the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and an MA and PhD in international history and politics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva. Irina speaks fluent Romanian, Italian, and French. She will be speaking in her private capacity, not on behalf of the organizations with which she is affiliated.