EU Narratives of Regionalism Promotion to ASEAN: A Modest Turn?

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Series Details Volume 58, Number 4, Pages 872-899
Publication Date July 2020
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The promotion of regionalism is a longā€standing aim of EU foreign policy. This article argues that this aim also constitutes a strategic narrative of the EU, although it has not been framed as such thus far. The article assesses the EU's Asia policy using a strategic narrative framework, and relates this to the EU's relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

It finds that the EU's promotion of regionalism narrative has changed over time, and that this change has primarily been triggered by the EU's reactions to ASEAN and the context of southeast Asian regionalism, and events closer to home, such as internal crises. However, it also finds that while the EU's narrative may have changed in response to the its own experiences, Brexit and other crises associated with the EU have not had a significant impact on how the EU's narrative is received, or on perceptions of the EU in ASEAN. This is primarily because ASEAN's perceptions of the EU have not always been aligned with the EU's promotion of regionalism narrative.

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