The US ‘pivot’ towards Asia has generated debate in Europe about whether the EU should upgrade its presence in the region. Yet, as this alert shows, the EU and its member states already began their own, largely undetected, rebalancing towards Asia roughly a decade ago. Does the EU now have the possibility of becoming – even inadvertently – an Asian (minor) power?
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CSCAP EU, under the leadership of the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), was admitted as a new member committee of Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP), by unanimous decision at the 40th Steering committee meeting in Beijing, on 2 December 2013. Its role is to actively contribute to CSCAP activities by providing the best European expertise on key regional security issues.
The CSCAP EU committee is composed of more than 60 experts from leading European universities, government-affiliated and non-governmental research institutions, as well as relevant officials from the European External Action Service (EEAS) acting in their private capacities. Coming from various professional and geographical backgrounds, the committee serves as a collaborative platform for European scholars and policy practitioners focusing on security issues in the Asia-Pacific.
Established in 1992-1993, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific has been widely regarded as the premier multilateral non-governmental ('Track Two') organisation promoting security dialogue and confidence building in the region.
Today, CSCAP consists of 21 full members (Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, DPR Korea, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, United States of America and Vietnam) and one associate member (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat).
The functions of CSCAP are to:
- Provide an informal mechanism by which political and security issues can be discussed by scholars, officials, and others in their private capacities;
- Encourage the participation of such individuals from countries and territories in the Asia Pacific on the basis of the principle of inclusiveness;
- Organise various study groups to address security issues and challenges facing the region;to provide policy recommendations to various intergovernmental bodies on political-security issues;
- Convene regional and international meetings and other cooperative activities for the purpose of discussing political-security issues;
- Establish linkages with institutions and organisations in other parts of the world to exchange information, insights and experiences in the area of regional political-security cooperation; and
- Produce and disseminate publications relevant to the other purposes of the organisation.The primary mechanisms of CSCAP are its experts’ Study Groups, initiated by the member committees to address concrete regional security issues.
Memoranda produced by the various Study Groups aim to provide policy recommendations for existing inter-governmental regional mechanisms, notably the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), but also potentially the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM+) and the East Asia Summit.
For more information, please see the CSCAP homepage.
CSCAP EU Committee
- Gustav Lindstrom, CSCAP EU Chair, Director, EUISS.
- Steven Everts, CSCAP EU Vice-Chair, Senior Advisor, Asia and the Pacific, EEAS.
- Gudrun Wacker, Senior Associate, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
- François Godement, Director, Asia Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
- Eva Pejsova, CSCAP EU Coordinator, Senior Analyst, EUISS.