Home Asian News EU Indo-Pacific Strategy in 10 points - The Diplomat

EU Indo-Pacific Strategy in 10 points – The Diplomat


On April 19, the European Union adopted the long awaited strategy for the Indo-Pacific, formally the “EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific”. . 10 pages long Conclusion of the Council represents the balancing effort of 27 European countries to build a common stance in the growing debate about the Indo-Pacific.

Here are 10 main things:

1. Work with partners. As its title suggests, fostering cooperation is at the core of the EU’s approach to the Indo-Pacific. This applies not only to Europe’s longstanding allies and friends who share its values, but also to cooperation with “third countries for the common good”, as well as to strengthening cooperation. regional multilateral organizations, such as ASEAN-centric mechanisms or Asia-Europe Conference Process (ASEM) mechanisms. Flexible and pragmatic cooperation is part of Brussels’ long-standing effort to enhance strategic autonomy and advance its interests in the region.

2. China is in. In the face of the heated and often opaque debate about China’s role in strategy, Europe seems to have decided: If China is part of the problem, it’s part of the solution too. The need to work with China is implicit through reference to the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) between China and the EU and the ASEM process, of which Beijing is a part. In many ways, this engages in recently published German and Dutch policy guides, as well as the UK Comprehensive Review, aimed at providing a more balanced and inclusive approach, acknowledges the need to engage with China on issues of mutual concern.

3. No index fingers. In the tradition of most of the EU’s strategies, this document avoids naming and shaming. Instead of explicitly addressing the usual suspects and perpetrators, it points to challenges to regional stability in the form of ‘geopolitical competition’, ‘supply chain tension and sectors’. technology, politics and security “and the existence of threats to” the universality of human rights. “Emphasis of principles on actors allows for greater consistency. , making the strategy more flexible and able to stand the test of time.

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4. Strong on soft issues. The need to address global issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of Europe’s top priorities and part of the price. the highest added value for the region. From gender equality to the Green Partner (supporting the Paris Agreement), and from sustainable ocean governance to cooperation in the health sector, the EU aims to be at the forefront of advancing the Goals-of-Play agenda. Sustainable Development of the United Nations in both bilateral and multilateral.

5. Maritime security: action more ahead. Free, open and safe shipping routes are a key strategic interest of the world’s largest trading bloc. In addition to France and the UK, Germany and the Netherlands are looking to increase their naval presence in the region, serving the interests and awareness of the maritime aspects of all EU member states. The protection of key maritime routes through awareness building in the maritime sector (MDA) has been a focus of the EU since its anti-piracy deployment in the Gulf of Aden in 2008 and will be promoted. all over the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.

6. High quality and sustainable connection. The 2018 “Europe and Asia connectivity strategy” (also known as the “EU connectivity strategy”) outlines the EU principles of sustainable, transparent and rule-based connectivity. Connectivity is a growing multidimensional agenda that is likely to become even more prominent in the future, with the EU allocating more resources, expanding partnerships with like-minded countries (Japan Edition, India, ASEAN) and link to existing regional initiatives.

7. Be assertive in trading. Europe has become more ambitious and assertive in protecting its economic interests. After free trade agreements have been signed with Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam, Brussels is determined to deepen economic ties with other regional partners to create a playground in India. – Pacific. Supply chain diversification for a more flexible European economy and reform of the WTO are also on the agenda.

8. The focus is on transnational security. Addressing transnational security challenges is part of the EU’s DNA as a collaborative security agent. Brussels has shown its managerial prowess by at the forefront of fostering digital governance, data protection and collaboration in cyberspace, which will continue under the new strategy. Comprehensively, this strategy aims to connect with its existing initiatives on the geographical border of the Indo-Pacific, working with African partners and Island countries. Pacific in addressing transnational issues such as ocean governance, disaster prevention and recovery, piracy, cybercrime and trafficking.

9. The EU as a major security organization. Unsurprisingly for a normative power, values ​​are the hallmark of strategy. The promotion of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and international law is not only seen as crucial to the stability and resilience of local societies, but also as a contribution to strategic interests. the EU’s long-standing strategy in the region and its role as a global security tool.

10. An important milestone for the EU foreign policy. The Council’s conclusions represent the consensus of the 27 EU member states and should be read as such. More than a decade since Japan first conceived the Indo-Pacific concept, the announcement of the strategy was the result of a lengthy internal debate, reflecting differences in preferences members ‘strategic priorities, Brussels’ growing awareness of regional security challenges and – to some extent – the nature of the EU as a foreign policy agent.

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