The EU and China have long sought to cooperate in and with Africa. Illegal migration to Europe, China’s growing commercial investments and terrorists looking for safe haven in Africa bind European, Chinese and African interests. The proliferation of these challenges beyond African borders is now driving the three parties closer together.
The EUISS conducts its research both topically and regionally, focusing on key issues of strategic importance to EU foreign policy. Alongside the immediate priorities in the EU's neighbourhood, the EU also focuses on emerging regions such as the Far East, as well as on traditional allies such as the United States.
The EU’s relations with the ‘Middle East Region’ actually cover three different but overlapping areas, each of which has its own peculiarities and distinctive relationship with Europe. They are the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf Region.
Russia and eastern neighbours
Russia is the biggest neighbour of the European Union – and one of its most difficult partners. The EU’s Eastern neighbourhood is a region in transition. Diverging foreign policy orientations, frozen conflicts, and low levels of inter-state cooperation further fragment and polarise the region.
The diversity of the African continent and its states, the distinct privileged historical links that exist between some Member States and their former colonies, and the corresponding cultural and linguistic affinities, all represent an extraordinary potential for cooperation, and this extends to the as yet barely developed area of peace and security.
Reflecting the evolving priorities of EU foreign policy, the EUISS has begun developing research on Asia. The aspects the Institute focuses on are: the global implications of the rise of China and India, China’s role in Africa and the Middle East, security and international relations in East Asia, and non-proliferation.
EU policy in the Western Balkans is based on stabilisation through integration. Following the 1999 crisis in Kosovo and NATO intervention, the EU member states recognised that a comprehensive policy for the whole region was needed, and in 2000 the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) was launched.
The strength of EU-US relations rests on historical bonds, converging interests and commonality of values. Cooperating with the US represents an important aspect of almost all areas of EU foreign policy. Elsewhere across the Atlantic, rising powers such as Brazil and Mexico are also of increasing importance.
China is increasingly engaged in a combination of investments and infrastructure development, forum-building and political messaging around the world with various sub-regional groupings of countries. Could this potentially challenge the role of the EU in Europe in the long term?
Since lifting its historic ban on arms exports in April 2014, Japan has faced an obstacle-ridden path in becoming an arms exporter. This Alert explores the track record of transfers of Japanese military equipment in the past 18 months, and how the transfers contribute to Tokyo’s strategic ambition of becoming a fully-fledged security actor in the region, even at the expense of economic benefits.
This Chaillot Paper examines Russia’s Eurasian project. Is this a new twenty-first century version of the Soviet Union? Does the project make economic sense, or is it simply a ploy by Putin to restore Russia’s great power status? It also looks at how the crisis in Ukraine will affect Moscow’s plans, as well as how the EU could interact with this potential rival.
This report is based upon the research activities and seminars conducted by the EUISS within the framework of its Sahel Task Force between September 2013 and April 2014, focusing on the security situation in the Sahel region. It explores in further depth some of the key issues discussed: terrorism (including the threat posed by jihadist and Islamist militant groups) and other forms of organised crime in the region, the link between security and development challenges, as well as efforts to increase regional cooperation to tackle the complexity of the challenges in the Sahel.
In the wake of the Arab Spring, this Chaillot Paper examines the role played by the different national armies in the Arab world, and their long history of involvement in matters beyond the military realm. As this study shows, the Arab Spring has marked a watershed in how Arab military forces are perceived: one way or the other, they have once again become the political actors they were prior to the 1970s.