EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy
The Council of the European Union approved conclusions on a European Union strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific to reinforce its strategic focus, presence and actions in this region with the aim to contribute to regional stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development, at a time of rising challenges and tensions in the region.
- The renewed EU commitment to the Indo-Pacific will have a long-term focus and will be based on upholding democracy, human rights, the rule of law and respect for international law.
- The EU will aim to promote effective rules-based multilateralism, it said, reiterating its support for ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) centrality.
- The Council tasked the High Representative and the Commission with putting forward a Joint Communication on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific by September 2021.
Renewed EU commitments:
- It will work together in order to mitigate the economic and human effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and work towards ensuring an inclusive and sustainable socio-economic recovery.
- The EU’s approach and engagement will look to foster a rules-based international order, a level playing field, as well as an open and fair environment for trade and investment, reciprocity, the strengthening of resilience, tackling climate change and supporting connectivity with the EU.
- Will aim to conclude free trade agreements with Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand and take further steps towards the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with China and will continue to explore deepening economic relations with India.
- The EU will continue to develop partnerships in the areas of security and defence, including to address maritime security, malicious cyber activities, disinformation, emerging technologies, terrorism, and organised crime, it said.
- The EU has taken the decision to extend the geographic scope of its CRIMARIO (Critical Maritime Routes) II activities from the Indian Ocean into South and Southeast Asia with a view to contribute to safer sea lanes of communication with the EU.
Source : The Hindu