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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.

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

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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?

  • 13March 2013

    Taking place in Washington, D.C on the 13-14 March, the 2013 EUWF served as a reminder that diplomacy, development and defence are all important elements in attempts to maintain stability and generate growth, even in times of budgetary constraints.

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    07March 2013

    China is poised to become the EU’s most important commercial partner, while simultaneously being a serious challenger in trade and a competitor for resources. It is against the backdrop of this dichotomy that this report offers a number of suggestions to assist EU policymakers in developing a more coherent approach towards China.

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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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    16March 2009

    This paper looks at the emerging geopolitical situation in the Eurasian coastal zone, concentrating on the geostrategic activities of China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States. This zone, it argues, is both critically important for the EU in terms of shipping for manufactured goods and energy supplies, and likely to experience great power competition and general disorder over the coming decades.

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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
    By

    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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