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Partnerships for effective multilateralism: EU relations with Brazil, China, India and Russia

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The tension between interdependence and power politics will shape the future of the international system. It is in the interest of the European Union to engage established and aspiring global powers in a sustained dialogue on how to confront pressing common challenges. This Chaillot Paper addresses the strategic partnerships that the EU seeks to set up with four important actors, whose ascent is changing traditional patterns of power and governance: Brazil, China, India and Russia. These partnerships, among other instruments, can play a critical role in reconciling multilateral governance and emerging multipolarity. As emerging powers take centre stage in international economic, political and security affairs, norms and institutions are contested and different worldviews co-exist uneasily. Over the next ten years, the priorities and the decisions of major global and regional powers will define the scope for cooperation and highlight the sources of competition and conflict. The purpose of this Chaillot Paper is to identify areas of concrete cooperation between the EU and its respective partners, drawing from the viewpoints of both parties. This positive agenda should help pave the way towards effective multilateral frameworks and solutions, which include both old and new global powers, thereby furthering the strategic objectives of the EU.