Is Europe still relevant in Asia? The impact of global crises on the EU – Asia ‘strategic relationship’ (Essex, 2 December 2022)
The European Union (EU) but also the UK have declared the Indo-Pacific region of key strategic and economic interest. The vast area, stretching from Eastern Africa to the island states in the Pacific, accounts for 62 per cent of the world’s GDP and contributes two thirds of global economic growth. It is also an area with increasing tensions and the focal point of geopolitical competition between China and the USA. The EU has unveiled a new ‘Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific’ and the region is also a central part of ‘Global Britain’. Regardless European countries are increasingly becoming minor players in the region. Especially in its relations with China, Europe has become a ‘taker’ rather than a ‘shaper’. This public event took stock of recent trends in EU-Asia relations by showcasing recent publications stemming from the EU-Asia Security and Trade (EAST) project. Via two panels – one focused on security and the other on trade relations – the event discussed the growing economic and security relevance of the Indo-Pacific to European interests, but also whether and how Europe can remain a relevant and equal partner in the region amidst Russia’s war in Ukraine, increased tensions in East Asia, the energy and food crises, and a looming recession.
Strategic shifts in EU Asia relations in light of the war in Ukraine (Berlin, 28 November 2022)
The workshop discussed the strategic shifts in EU-Asia relations in the context of the war in Ukraine, which has affected European foreign, trade, and security policies. The first session focused on strategic shifts in EU-Asia relations, and the second session discussed hybrid threats as a new priority in EU-Asia relations. During the first session of the workshop, Prof. Kirchner and Dr. Heiduk emphasized the need for a new multilateral security architecture in the Indo-Pacific, which can help to build trust and manage regional security challenges. In particular, the discussion raised the diversity of perceptions and policies towards the Indo-Pacific, which have yet to be aligned more closely within Europe. However, Dr. Hilpert argued that the EU is undergoing a sea change in its trade policy, which is characterized by a more strategic approach and a willingness to use trade policy to pursue geopolitical goals, including the focus on reciprocity and the greater use of trade defense instruments. The second session focused on hybrid threats, ranging from investments in critical infrastructures, cyberattacks and disinformation to more far-reaching scenarios for an extensive conflict between China and Taiwan. Dr. Bossong outlined the rise of hybrid threats as an organising concept on the EU’s Strategic Compass and the potential impact on EU-Asia relations. Against this background Mrs. Hmaidi dissected the range and scope of Chinese influence operations, including in the EU’s wider neighbourhood. Finally, Ambassador Oegroneso highlighted the ability and experience of Indonesia to counter Chinese power projection but questioned the substance of the EU’s engagement with a broader and more diverse alliance of Asian partners.
New Dynamics in the EU’s Relations with Asia: Security, Trade, and Connectivity (Brussels, 21 November 2022)
This public workshop, held at Maastricht University in cooperation with CEPS and EUI, took stock of recent trends in EU-Asia relations and showcased recent publications stemming from the EU-Asia Security and Trade (EAST) Jean Monnet-funded project as well as EUI’s own EU-Asia Project.
Dissemination Workshop at Korea University (Seoul, 7th November 2022)
New dynamics in EU-Asia relations: Between security and geo-economics (Florence, 17th October 2022)
This workshop took stock of recent trends in EU-Asia relations by showcasing current publications stemming from the EU-Asia Security and Trade (EAST) Jean Monnet-funded project as well as EUI’s own EU-Asia Project. The workshop examined the growing economic and security relevance of the Indo-Pacific to European interests, as well as the growing cross pollination between security and economics. Finally, the workshop assessed the likelihood of a sustained EU intervention in the region amidst Russia’s war in Ukraine, energy and food crises and the spectre of stagflation. This event was co-organised with the Istituto Affari Internazionali and Maastricht University.
Melbourne Conference (30th – 31st January 2020)
The fourth conference of the EAST network took place in Melbourne on 30-31 January 2020. The event was organised by the University of Melbourne and gathered together the autors of the volume on trade relations between the EU and South-East Asia and the Pacific.
Rome Conference (11th – 12th December 2019)
The third conference of the EAST network took place in Rome on December 20219. The event was organised by the International Affaris Institute (IAI) and hosted by the Luiss University. This workshop brought together the contributors to the volume on EU Security Relations with Asian Powers. It provided an opportunity for authors to present draft chapters and receive feedback from editors, other contributors and invited experts.
Singapore Conference (8th-9th April 2019)
The second conference of the EAST network took place in Singapore on April 2019, and was hosted by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). The conference gathered participants to both trade and security projects based in the Asia-Pacific to discuss drafts and coordinate the next steps.
Berlin Conference (17th-18th January 2019)
The first conference of the EAST network took place at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in Berlin 17th-18th January, and gathered participants from the European side of the project to discuss progress in writing and to coordinate the coming work.