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Asia

Over the last decade, the global economic and strategic balance has been shifting eastwards. Asia is the largest and the most populous continent, with China and India alone already accounting for one-third of the global population. Asia is home to some of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing economies, but also to some most complex security hotspots. From tensions on the Korean Peninsula to maritime territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, there are a number of issues which have the potential to spark more serious conflict. The rise of China is affecting the balance of power in the region, and has resulted in increased competition with the US for influence. This is also increasingly visible in the Indian Ocean, which has become a new theatre of strategic competition between China and India. While there are various multilateral cooperative mechanisms in the region, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) or the East Asia Summit, their capacity to address such security issues remains limited.

As a key trading partner of many Asian economies, the EU has a major stake in regional stability, as well as in the security of its Sea Lanes of Communication. Since announcing its ‘pivot to Asia’ in 2012, Brussels has been trying to step up its security role in Asia by boosting cooperation with its various Strategic Partners, as well as through existing multilateral fora. The EUISS has been working to support these efforts by providing relevant expertise and analysis and conducting research in domains that have the potential to enhance regional stability and raise the EU’s security profile. Key areas of focus are maritime security and governance, preventive diplomacy, confidence and capacity building, crisis prevention, multilateralism, regional integration and institution building.

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  • Download Brief
    30June 2020
    Beijing’s new activism in the Middle East reflects the evolution of Chinese foreign policy thinking, in line with the country’s rise as an economic superpower. Economic goals rather than ideological considerations have become key criteria in China’s selection of partners in the region, especially those which can provide the energy resources necessary to fuel China’s continued dynamic growth. Although as yet China is not overtly seeking to displace the US as the dominant power in the region, its penetration of the Middle East inevitably has far-reaching foreign policy and security implications.
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    11June 2020
    The global crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak has had particularly disruptive consequences for conflict-affected countries around the world. Armed groups have capitalised on the crisis, while the global distraction caused by the pandemic has made it difficult to seize opportunities for peace. This Brief analyses key repercussions in conflict-affected countries in general, and in five countries in particular: Colombia, Libya, Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen.
  • Photo of EUISS podcast recording studio
    09June 2020

    The EUISS ‘What if’ podcast is a foreign policy foresight conversation: it looks at fictional scenarios that could happen between now and the end of 2021.

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    27May 2020
    In recent years Japan has sought to rekindle diplomatic, political and economic ties with Eastern Europe. This Brief examines how Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 may have motivated this charm offensive, prompted by Tokyo’s fears that such aggression could potentially be replicated in the Far East, as well as by concerns about transfers of military technology from Eastern Europe to China and the weakening of the global non-proliferation regime. It shows how Japan’s foreign policy goals in the eastern neighbourhood overlap with those of the EU, and highlights the potential for strengthening synergies between them.
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    14May 2020
    China is rapidly consolidating its expertise in building smart/safe cities, with the Covid-19 crisis significantly accelerating this trend. The crisis has also seen China step up its activism in the global promotion, donation and export of some of its smart city technologies with dual-use capabilities. What risks does this pose for Europe?
  • Participants of EUISS side event at MSC
    14February 2020

    The EUISS hosted a foresight side event at the global security forum.

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    24January 2020
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    According to a famous science fiction film, the future is what you make of it. This Chaillot Paper takes this quote from Back to the Future to heart, proposing 14 different portraits of the future for the year 2024.

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    16December 2019
    Maritime security is one of the fundamental strategic interests of the European Union. This Brief focuses on the EU’s ambition to become a maritime security provider in the Indo-Pacific region and explores how might it go about accomplishing this. It shows how a more proactive European involvement in maritime security has the potential to boost ties with Asian countries, promote the Union’s foreign and security objectives in the region and enhance its strategic profile globally.
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    18July 2019

    The 2019 Yearbook of European Security provides an overview of events in 2018 that were significant for European security and charts major developments in the EU’s external action and security and defence policy.

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    03June 2019
    This Brief looks into connectivity-related challenges and how they relate to the EU’s new Central Asia Strategy and its vision of connectivity. It examines the legacy of Soviet connectivity, the significance of regional informal networks, as well as the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Russia’s Great Eurasian Partnership.

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  • Photo of EUISS podcast recording studio
    09June 2020

    The EUISS ‘What if’ podcast is a foreign policy foresight conversation: it looks at fictional scenarios that could happen between now and the end of 2021.

  • Participants of EUISS side event at MSC
    14February 2020

    The EUISS hosted a foresight side event at the global security forum.

  • 14December 2018

    On 14 December 2018, the EUISS co-organised the EU-China Informal Security Dialogue in Beijing, together with the External Action Service (EEAS), the International College of Defence Studies (ICDS) of the China National Defence University and the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of the Renmin University of China (RDCY).

  • 26January 2018

    On 26 January 2018, the EUISS organised a public conference to present a report on Chinese and Russian defence industries and to discuss the issue of European arms exports to Asia.

  • 25January 2018

    On Thursday 25 January, the CSCAP EU Committee convened for its fifth annual meeting in Brussels. The Committee held a workshop on arms exports, defence markets, and new dynamics in EU-Asia relations.

  • 22November 2017

    The EUISS, the Centre for Internet & Society and the EU Delegation to India and Bhutan invited members of civil society to exchange views on cybersecurity capacity building in New Delhi.

  • 21September 2017

    The EUISS and the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS) of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) held the 4th EU-ROK Strategic Dialogue on 21 September in Brussels.

  • 16June 2017

    On 16 June, with the support of the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU, the EUISS organised a seminar to analyse a series of issues in relation to the planning, conduct, and handover of EUPOL Afghanistan.

  • 28March 2017

    The third and final meeting of the 'Chinese Futures Task Force' focused on China as a global actor. The meeting discussed China’s engagement within the international system, namely its interactions with other global powers, its role in global governance, and the future of EU – China relations.

  • 15February 2017

    The second meeting of the 'Chinese Futures Task Force' looked into the drivers of China’s foreign and security policy in Asia.

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