ASEAN-EU relations are of a special quality in international politics as they bring together two of the most advanced regional integration mechanisms in the world. Yet, while the partnership is seen as a success story, the ambitious cooperation strategies of recent years are far from being fully implemented. Stalled free trade negotiations have not resumed and the EU has focussed on bilateral agreements instead. How successful is this strategy against the backdrop of the US-China trade war? In the political-security area, the EU has been determined to become a more pro-active actor, for example with regards to maritime security. However, as much as the EU (and individual member states) would like to play a more prominent and visible role in Southeast Asian, it remains unclear if such a role was desirable and indeed acceptable to ASEAN. Furthermore, to what extent is the EU’s participation in China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) aligned with the Southeast Asian states’ ‘double game’ with China? The presentation will focus on the interests of the EU in Southeast Asia and policies towards ASEAN and assess the outcomes and challenges of Brussel’s quest for being a rising power in the region.
About the Speaker
Professor Jörn Dosch is Professor/Chair of International Politics and Development Cooperation and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Rostock, Germany. Previous positions include Professor of International Relations at Monash University (Malaysia Campus) and Head of the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Leeds. His research focuses on Southeast Asian politics and international relations as well as Europe-Asia relations. He has spent extended periods of time in the ASEAN-region since the early 1990s. Prof. Dosch also regularly works as a consultant for the European Union’s development programme with Asia and has evaluated several donor-funded projects in support of ASEAN. His recent publications include The New Global Politics of the Asia Pacific, 3rd edition, Routledge 2018 (with M. Connors and R. Davison).