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US Task Force 2012 - Look East, Act East: Transatlantic Strategies in the Asia-Pacific Region

11 June 2012

The US Task Force 2012 aims to explore the possibilities for developing a more strategic EU involvement in Asia – both within and outside of the transatlantic relationship. The challenges that need to be addressed are multi-faceted, ranging from traditional power balancing questions to non-traditional values and human rights-related topics. This leaves the EU a broad range of options to choose from and decide where it wants to get involved, in which way and with whom. Dialogue with the US on many of these issues may also constitute one of the crucial elements in efforts to strengthen the EU-US strategic partnership. 

In order to explore the possibilities of the EU’s strategic involvement in the region, this project sets out to ask a number of questions:

1. What is the scope for EU action and what are its objectives? Where do Member States’ interests converge and diverge with regard to these objectives?

2. What means are at the disposal of the EU?

3. What forms of cooperation with the US (and other international partners) could be established?

As the aim is to identify objectives and capabilities of the EU and the US in the region, the focus will be on three broad areas of investigation:

  • Economy and trade: trade and investment, financial regulation, regional economic integration;
  • Global and regional governance: climate change and environment, energy and resources;
  • Security: non-proliferation and military build-up, territorial disputes, non-traditional security challenges.

The project will then deliver a report with policy recommendations on structuring future transatlantic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, identifying specific areas for joint or coordinated action and the instruments necessary for it to succeed. The proposed action plan will include both short- and long-term priorities, concrete steps to be undertaken and a timeline for their implementation. The final report will be presented in Brussels and Washington, D.C. in October 2012.