EU-Asia Relations: A New Start?

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Series Details No.17, 2013
Publication Date 20/02/2014
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The EU is finally paying more attention to Asia. After some years of introspection as it focused on the financial crisis, and following the US pivot to Asia, there has been a urry of visits by EU leaders to Asia seeking to deepen relations both with regional actors such as ASEAN and individual countries. The EU is playing a more active role not only in the trade sphere, with FTAs signed with Korea and Singapore, but also in non-traditional areas of security including climate change, maritime security, terrorism and cyber security. Both sides recognize that they need each other in today’s increasingly interdependent world. Summits were held in November with all three strategic partners, Korea, Japan, and China. A summit with India is planned for spring 2014. EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, has also been busy with four visits to Asia this year including the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN regional forum (ARF). After years of talking about closer cooperation with Asia, the EU is making a fresh start to deepen relations with the continent that is home to half the world’s population and which is the world’s growth engine.

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