The EU’s Asia Strategies in the Trump Era
- Bart Szewczyk, Adviser, European Political Strategy Centre, Non-resident Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Brussels
- Janka Oertel, Transatlantic Fellow, Asia Program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin
- Mathieu Duchâtel, Director, Asia Program, Institut Montaigne, Paris
- Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, Senior Transatlantic Fellow and Director, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Paris
Three years ago, the EU Global Strategy—seeking to promote peace and guarantee security of its citizens and territory, advancing prosperity of its people, and promoting a rules-based global order—provided a general framework for Europe’s policies toward Asia. It argued that there is a “direct connection” between European prosperity and Asian security and sought “to make greater practical contributions to Asian security” through partnerships with Japan, the Republic of Korea, and others.
Three geopolitical factors—the return of great power rivalry, China’s growing assertiveness, and emerging U.S.-China tensions—have raised anew the question of what should be Europe’s strategy toward Asia. What are Europe’s core interests and objectives in the region, and how much commonality or diversity of interest is there within Europe in its relations with Asia? What are the main instruments that the EU or individual EU member state have at their disposal to serve their interests in Asia? What are the implications of the tensions between China and U.S. for the transatlantic relations?