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Asia security cooperation: EU increases engagement on security in and with Asia

28/05/2018 - 14:52
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The EU will strengthen cooperation on security in Asia and with Asian partners, in view of the importance of the region to global stability and security and thus to European interests. Priority areas are maritime security, cyber security, counter terrorism, CSDP and peacekeeping operations, hybrid threats, conflict prevention and the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. Pilot cooperation projects will be developed with key partners to concretely advance shared interests in these areas.

foreign affairs council

Meeting in Brussels on 28 May, EU foreign ministers agreed to strengthen work with Asian partners to promote global security, and to engage more for enhanced security in Asia. The EU's approach will build on existing security-related cooperation with its Asian partners that has already delivered positive results, including for example joint efforts to tackle piracy off Somalia.

"The time when Europeans and Asians could consider themselves distant friends is over. To preserve and strengthen our economic exchanges we must also work together on global security", said EU High Representative Federica Mogherini.


The goal of enhanced security cooperation in and with Asia is to safeguard its citizens, defend the fundamental values upon which the Union is founded, including the protection of human rights, uphold the international rules-based system, promote multilateralism, contribute to regional stability, prevent violent conflicts and secure the Union's economic interests.

To strengthen the EU's operational capacities there is a need for a greater coordination between the EU institutions and Member States to enhance security-related engagement with Asian partners with a tailor-made approach, through capacity building, training programmes, including on UN peacekeeping and joint exercises.


In some areas, good work with several Asian partners is already underway and delivering concrete results like tackling piracy off the coast of Somalia or maritime security dialogues. As the next step the EU will develop pilot projects with India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia. Following the exercise, further tailor-made cooperation will be advanced with a wider group of the EU's priority partners in the Asian region.

The EU currently has 16 civilian and military missions and operations around the world, from providing training to the armed forces, to fighting trafficking and smuggling networks in the Mediterranean Sea. Recently the EU launched the Permanent Structured Cooperation - PESCO on security and defence, enabling EU Member States to jointly develop defence capabilities that can be made available for EU operations.