European countries’ increasing interest in maritime security in the Indo-Pacific is evident, and welcomed by the US and European partners in the region. This paper surveys the evolution of regional security concerns since the initial EU foray into Indo-Pacific maritime security through Operation ATLANTA in 2008, and highlights the centrality of deterrence of China to the current concerns of like-minded countries in the region.
Author Stephan Frühling (Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University) argues that European countries have the capability to make a meaningful contribution to deterrence in the Indo-Pacific, through deliberate use of military presence East of Singapore. The paper concludes that as long as Europe engages in maritime security in the Indo-Pacific at all, the real question facing Europe is not whether to engage with regional deterrence, but how coherent it wants its posture to be.
This is the seventh and final paper in the HCSS Guarding the Commons series, edited by Paul van Hooft and Tim Sweijs, and is part of the new HCSS “Europe in the Indo-Pacific Hub (EIPH)”.
Read the complete paper series here:
- Thucydides Lives in Asia: Power Transition Traps Are Real, by Patrick Porter (University of Birmingham)
- Between AUKUS and the Quad: Scaling European Interest in the Indo-Pacific, by Jagannath Panda (Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses)
- European Engagement in the Maritime Security in Indo-Pacific: a Japanese Perspective, by Yuki Tatsumi (The Stimson Center)
- Getting Real about the Indo-Pacific: Redefining European Approach to Maritime Security, by Frédéric Grare (European Council on Foreign Affairs – ECFR) and Mélissa Levaillant (Institute of Higher National Defence Studies)
- Multilateralizing Maritime Cooperation in East Asia: South Korea’s Cautious but Delayed Response, by Kuyoun Chung (Kangwon National University)
- It started with a ship… What role for Germany in the Indo Pacific’s security architecture?, by Johannes Peters (Head of Center for Maritime Strategy & Security at the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK))
- Multilateralizing Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific: How Europe can contribute to regional deterrence, by Stephan Frühling (Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University)