As the world’s economic and political centre of gravity continues to shift towards the Indo-Pacific, with China playing a dominant role in areas such as trade, military, and technology, American supremacy has declined relatively in the region. These changes pose a new challenge for most European countries whose economic future and geopolitical relevance are linked to developments in the region. As a way of walking a fine line in the Indo-Pacific region France published Indo-Pacific strategy paper in 2018, Germany and the Netherlands followed in September and November 2020 respectively. Due to the efforts of those three countries, the “EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific” could be launched as an official strategy in 2021.
In this paper Dr. Chung Sam-man (KIMS) argues that in order to effectively target maritime challenges in the Indo-Pacific, including traditional security threats and newer challenges like climate change, a coalition of the willing that includes European navies and the navies of reliable and voluntary countries in the region needs to be forged. This paper highlights how minilateral frameworks and cooperation rather than competition is recommended for the EU’s approach to the Indo-Pacific region.
Author: Dr. Chung Sam-man is the Director of Center for Maritime Security at the Korea Institute for Maritime Strategy (KIMS).
This paper is part of a HCSS Europe in the Indo-Pacific Hub (EIPH) paper series, edited by senior strategic analyst Paul van Hooft. This paper was also edited by PR and Communications Assistant, Alessandra Barrow.