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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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    21March 2014

    At a time of heightened tensions in East Asia – largely the result of competing territorial claims – this Alert seeks to highlight the importance of multilateral platforms and various informal mechanisms (‘track-two’ diplomacy) in maintaining stability and managing potential crises in the region.

  • 19March 2014

    The first meeting of the CSCAP EU full committee was held on 19 March in Brussels and was attended by nearly forty committee members: experts from various European think tanks, as well as officials from the European External Action Service (EEAS) in a private capacitiy.

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    14March 2014

    This Alert explores the international crisis in Crimea from China’s perspective. While it is clear that China disapproves of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine at several levels, Chinese interests in eastern Europe remain too small for Beijing to take an open and vocal stance – at least for now.

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    21February 2014

    This alert takes a closer look at the fraught and controversial ties between Afghanistan and its immediate neighbour to the east. How can these countries transcend the dominance of the security dimension underpinning their historical relationship that has had unintended – and deadly – consequences for both?

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    07February 2014

    The third in a series of EUISS Alerts focusing on the prospects for Afghanistan in 2014, this Alert evaluates Russia’s current policy towards Afghanistan and how it may evolve in the future. In particular, it shows that Russia’s overall approach is still mainly determined by issues relating to America’s military presence there rather than by its bilateral relations with Kabul.

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    30January 2014

    The countries of Central Asia face a multitude of security challenges ranging from rising ethnic tensions to widespread corruption. This alert provides an overview of the major trends in a vital region which is all too often overlooked.

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    24January 2014

    The second in a series of EUISS alerts examining the future of Afghanistan, this alert digs deeper into the political and economic ties that bind Afghanistan and China. How can the Asian giant now contribute to the future stability of the volatile country?

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    17January 2014

    In the light of Japan’s recently unveiled National Security Strategy (NSS), this brief examines how the country’s security and defence policy is evolving in response to a changing security environment. The country’s new national security doctrine is driven by a strong perception of a shifting balance of power at the global level as well as an acute awareness of regional challenges and in particular the need to protect the nation’s maritime interests.

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    10January 2014

    The first EUISS alert of 2014 explores the deepening bilateral relationship between India and Afghanistan. But given long-standing regional tensions and suspicions, what role is there for South Asia's dominant power in supporting a post-transition Afghanistan?

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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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    19February 2008

    Until recently European security planners had little to say about and indeed not much interest in China. The People’s Republic was primarily regarded as the cradle of an ancient and rich culture, a place where Europeans liked to travel and, latterly, make money, taking advantage of the country’s economic dynamism. Considering China’s place and its role in the global security system was more or less left to the Americans, with the Europeans following Washington’s lead.

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    01October 2007

    Over the last ten years, the EU Special Representatives (EUSRs) have pioneered EU foreign policy in countries and regions of direct interest to the Union. EUSRs are a face of the Union, enhancing its visibility, and they give it a voice, seeking to deliver a single message to local and international partners, playing an important role in EU foreign policy.

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    01July 2007
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    At dawn on 23 June, after close to 36 hours of intensive talks, EU leaders adopted a mandate for a Reform Treaty. In the field of foreign and security policy, the text foresees the EU should have, as of 2009, a High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy. He will be supported by a European external action service. Another important innovation is the permanent structured co-operation in the field of defence.

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    01April 2007

    How should European and American policymakers respond to the inevitable rise of China and India on the world scene? Werner Weidenfeld assesses the ways in which international relations will undergo change in the years ahead and looks to a new Atlantic partnership while Marcin Zaborowski forms his commentary around the desire of Europe and America for a stable China.

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    01January 2007
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    The EU military operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo has come to an end, on schedule, as the presidential election process came to its own successful conclusion. For the first time in decades, this major African country, as large as the entire EU-25, and so crucial for the stability of the Great Lakes region and of Africa as a whole, has elected its president democratically.

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    01December 2006

    With its booming economy, China is emerging as the key player in Asia-Pacific and possibly as the world’s next superpower.

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    19October 2006

    Following its underground test on 9 October, carried out in defiance of international warnings, it is probable that North Korea has become the world’s ninth nuclear power. Whilst there were initially some doubts as to the strength or the exact nature of the detonation the presence of radioactive particles in North Korea has been now confirmed by US spy planes as well as by neighbouring Russia and Japan.

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    01October 2006

    This study traces the evolution of EU-China relations over the past three decades.

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    01December 2005

    The EU Monitoring Mission in Aceh (AMM), Indonesia, marks a new step on the path of the Union to becoming a global player. Endowed with a robust mandate including monitoring demobilisation, the decommissioning of arms, the withdrawal of government forces, the reintegration of former combatants and the launch of a new political process, this new ESDP mission has so far provided an effective contribution in ending years of fighting and paving the way to sustainable peace.

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    01December 2005
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    Historically speaking, security and defence are late arrivals on the European agenda. But like all young things, the European security and defence policy is growing fast. We have put in place the necessary decision-making structures and launched a process to enhance European capabilities, which has been given fresh impetus with the creation of the European Defence Agency.

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