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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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    10January 2014

    With India struggling to meet its domestic energy demands, the country is now engaging in a more active – and more overt – form of energy diplomacy. What challenges face the rising giant in pursuit of this strategy, and how will it reconcile development goals with climate change concerns in a region that continues to suffer from a lack of integration?

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    10January 2014

    The recent elections in Bangladesh and their accompanying turmoil has lain bare the extent to which the two most powerful political dynasties are splitting the country. Can Bangladesh’s battling ‘begums’ now be convinced to put their differences aside in order to overcome the paralysing political stalemate?

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    29November 2013

    This brief analyses what impact the five BRICS countries are likely to have in global politics in the years to come, and what future trajectory the grouping might take. The BRICS ‘club’ may or may not last – in its present or another formation – but its rise is a wake-up call for the EU to deepen its bilateral relations with individual BRICS and possibly reconsider its own position in the emerging system of global governance.

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    15November 2013

    This alert examines how the relationship between the EU and Japan has evolved significantly over the past two decades. It highlights how a more comprehensive partnership – going beyond trade and investment – is something that is now sought by both sides, particularly in the sphere of political and security cooperation.

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    11October 2013

    This Brief tracks the evolution of the Sino-European strategic partnership, exploring the highs and lows of a complex relationship that is now well placed to move beyond its economic foundations and potentially into the realm of politico-military affairs.

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    27September 2013

    This brief highlights the need to develop deeper bilateral relations with a country that is both strategically important and a hub in its own region. Can the EU really afford, as a whole, to engage only sporadically with the world’s largest Muslim country and third-largest democracy?

  • 11July 2013

    The EUISS, in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific division of the EEAS and in partnership with the Korean Society of Contemporary European Studies (KSCES), organised an expert seminar on Thursday 11 July 2013 to assess and examine the state of EU-South Korea relations.

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    08July 2013

    As the twelfth year of military engagement in Afghanistan draws to a close, NATO troop numbers are set to be significantly reduced and reoriented to training Afghan forces rather than carrying out executive security functions. But how will international actors (including the EU) recalibrate their approach in order to ensure stability in both Afghanistan and the wider region?

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    06May 2013

    The upcoming elections will act as an important indicator of Pakistan’s improving capacity to build a secure political order for its citizens. With a changing electorate and a new institutional balance of power, Pakistan now has the opportunity to establish a new political narrative that builds on the country’s pluralism.

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    26March 2013

    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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    06June 2011

    Ce Report est le fruit d’une première coopération entre le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge et l’IESUE visant à développer des échanges mutuellement bénéfiques entre le CICR, l’Union européenne et d’autres acteurs concernés par des problématiques humanitaires.

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    15February 2011

    Recent security developments in East Asia have raised questions about peace and stability in a part of the world accounting for over a quarter of EU global trade. This Policy Brief assesses the changing power relations in East Asia and highlights potential implications of the region's security flashpoints for the EU.

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    18January 2011

    In this quarter's issue, The Economist's Anton La Guardia proposes a unique role for the EU in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Nicola Casarini says the EU should get more involved in East Asia, and Álvaro de Vasconcelos forwards the case for better preventing conflict.

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    09November 2010

    Is there an Asian approach to peacebuilding? In this paper, the author explores what characterises the Asian approach while aiming to discern to what extent Western-dominated mainstream views of peacebuilding are applicable to Asian countries.

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    30September 2010

    China has become a central player on the world stage. Understanding the future direction of its foreign policy and the role it will play in international affairs is becoming increasingly important. Zhu Liqun, Vice-President of the China Foreign Affairs University, provides an in-depth and authoritative examination of China’s foreign policy debate and offers concrete examples of changes in attitude among China’s elite.

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    09November 2009

    In Indonesia, on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Helga Schmid was reminded of its impact on Asia, where many of the success stories of the post-1989 world can be found.

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    04November 2009

    'The Obama Moment' provides an authoritative analysis of the most topical global questions of our time: multilateralism, the economy, disarmament and climate change. Will the election of Obama facilitate enhanced transatlantic co-operation in dealing with these and other challenges?

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    19October 2009

    This book breaks new ground by providing the first comprehensive review of every ESDP operation to date. It explains how the EU institutions responsible for international crisis management have developed and functioned, reviews the civil and military resources available to the ESDP, and analyses the key partnerships between the EU and other international organisations.

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    09October 2009

    In this paper, the author argues that it is high time for the European Union to adopt a proactive policy of managing the risks of sensitive technology transfer to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). On the basis of a common understanding of the challenges of transferring dual-use technology, economically, politically and security-wise, the European Union can optimise benefits from opportunities available in the promising and technologically rapidly advancing Chinese market.

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    01April 2009

    The EU engages in aspects of security sector reform through EUPOL Afghanistan, the police mission launched in 2007, and through the European Commission’s contributions to justice reform in the country. Based on an analysis of past efforts at police reform by the EU and other European and international actors, this paper identifies a set of internal and external coordination challenges that hamper mission success.

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