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The EU’s approach towards Asia: regional cooperation and regional conflicts in the past and today


  • Eva Scherwitz

    (Eberhard Karls University of Tuebingen/Institute of Political Science)


Abstract Within the context of EU-Asia relations, the EU has tried to export its regional integration model for decades. As regards this, the ASEAN has been the natural partner of the EU. This article gives an overview on how the EU has linked its regional integration efforts with the intention of transforming regional conflicts in the (East) Asian region in the past and today. It shows that the EU has in the past relied on active model setting and positioning in order to “export” its regional integration approach. Recent developments, however, show that this approach has been abandoned. Although there has been a recent increase in EU policy papers on the region, the EU is currently embracing a rather soft approach based on socialization efforts when it comes to East Asian conflict issues. The paper concludes by stating that this is both the result of a cautious EU “shying away” from adopting any precise position on pressing Asian security issues and of an adaptation of the EU approach towards a more modest modus operandi of mutual “sharing of experiences and best practices.”

Suggested Citation

  • Eva Scherwitz, 2016. "The EU’s approach towards Asia: regional cooperation and regional conflicts in the past and today," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 367-382, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:asiaeu:v:14:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s10308-016-0454-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s10308-016-0454-1

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