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The long-anticipated statement that American and European officials have been talking about for months has finally emerged. Announced on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on July 12, 2012, the statement puts an end to the political toing and froing that both sides of the Atlantic have been engaged in for the past several months. What should come next are concrete actions.
For the moment, the US presence in the Asia Pacific region provides regional and extra-regional actors, including the EU, with security and stability that enable free navigation, trade flows, peaceful development, and avoidance of violent conflicts or confrontations. But how can the EU assume a more active and strategic role in the region?