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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.

For the recent EUISS mini podcast series on China, click here.


  • 23November 2012

    With the seven new members of the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) now in place, China will need to address an array of challenges including controversial aspects of political reform. The way this ‘China 7.0’ handles these issues will undoubtedly have profound implications for the whole world.

  • 23October 2012

    The IV India-EU forum took place in Brussels on 23 and 24 October 2012 and was organised by the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) and the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) in cooperation with FRIDE.

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    22October 2012

    Pakistan is today facing many new challenges, not the least of which are the unsettling effects of the third democratic transition at a time of rapid societal changes. This report, with contributions from regional experts, looks at various aspects of these challenges.

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    16October 2012

    In collaboration with the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), the EUISS has produced a paper which features detailed proposals for advancing India-EU relations within the bilateral and multilateral dimensions of the Strategic Partnership.

  • 11October 2012

    This seminar held in October 2012 in Paris brought together experts to examine and assess EU policy towards China in the following fields: trade, investment, the euro and global economic governance, environment and resources, defence and security, politics, and the regional context.

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    11October 2012

    In no major country is less known about the way leaders are chosen or how foreign policy is made than China. There are certain rules and conventions, by which we know that every ten years there must be a generational change of top leaders.

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    05October 2012

    In this period of leadership transition, maintaining social stability is of the highest priority for decision-makers in China. While bureaucratic transparency and accountability may have gradually improved in some areas - especially in certain provinces or localities - due to more openness, better access to information and greater public oversight, the transition process at the top level is still shrouded in mystery and characterised by an almost total lack of transparency.

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    01October 2012

    After a decade of accentuating collective leadership, harmony and what many foreign observers have taken to call the ‘black box’ approach of top level Chinese decision-making, this year of succession is proving interesting – one might even go as far as to claim that a break in the politics and history is about to occur in China. 

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    10September 2012

    Big changes are in the offing in China with a new set of leaders due to take over this year. But, with regard to the economy, the terms of the debate have already been set – the 12th Five Year Plan launched last year will guide the economic policy of the country through to 2015. Timing these plans to not coincide precisely with the leadership changes ensures that there is economic continuity. In other words, the current leadership candidates will have already contributed their input to the Five Year Plan, which is how stability is ensured amidst political change.

  • 23July 2012

    The long-anticipated statement that American and European officials have been talking about for months has finally emerged. Announced on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on July 12, 2012, the statement puts an end to the political toing and froing that both sides of the Atlantic have been engaged in for the past several months. What should come next are concrete actions.