On 19 April 2021, European Union foreign ministers launched the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. The document signals EU’s commitment to increase its engagement with countries in the Indo-Pacific and contribute to the region’s complex strategic challenges. Amidst competing strategies towards the region, EU’s strategy promises harmony with that of ASEAN’s and Indonesia’s, emphasizing on inclusivity and rules-based approach, while also prioritising similar cooperation areas, such as maritime sector cooperation and cooperation in sustainable connectivity. To what extent can the European Union play a role in the region? How will the EU play its part in contributing to the future of the Indo-Pacific? With ASEAN at the centre of EU’s strategy and the body’s support for ASEAN Centrality, how can the EU’s strategy be an alternative amidst competition of influence and strategies among other major powers?
H.E. Josep Borrell Fontelles
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission for a Stronger Europe in the World