RSIS Webinar Series on Multilateralism Studies
A Pacific Turn? The Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union towards Asia
This webinar will argue that the EU is witnessing a “Pacific Turn” in its foreign and security policy, but not a “pivot to Asia”. This turn is driven by both the European Commission and its Member States, albeit with distinct foci on different instruments of foreign and security policy. This should lead to a relatively coherent policy towards the different sub-regions of Asia. As in other world regions, however, the EU will leverage and enhance member state assets and instruments, but without being able to fundamentally alter its character as a fractured foreign policy actor.
On the other hand, this webinar will show that the EU is not without power by giving a general introduction to EU foreign policy, its Global Strategy, the EU institutions involved, the relevant modes of governance, as well as its defining characteristic: the relationship between supranational institutions and member states. While EU foreign policy is soft power oriented, European Security and Defence Policy is conceptionally different in its hard power orientation. Here, the webinar will present relevant new institutions and structures, as well as the Comprehensive Defence Package of 2017. Both policies have their specific strengths and weaknesses, as recent developments in Asia will illustrate.
In other words, we will see more “Europe” in Asia but this will not entail more “European power”.
About the Speaker
Christian E. Rieck is an Assistant Professor at the Chair of War Studies at the University of Potsdam. A Senior Analyst for Regional Powers and Regional Integration at the Global Governance Institute in Brussels, he also teaches Comparative Regionalism and IR at Humboldt University in Berlin and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Strasbourg and Madrid. Before joining UP, Christian worked as a desk officer and policy consultant for Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Berlin and as a Research Fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies in Hamburg.