The EU and the US in Asia - Cooperation or competition?

22 June 2015

A recent Policy Dialogue brought together leading thinkers and policy practitioners to discuss whether the so-called “transatlantic pivot to Asia” represents an opportunity for trilateral partnership, or whether Europe and the US are more likely to become competitors in the Asian arena. The event was organised by the European Policy Centre in cooperation with the United States Mission to the EU and the EU-Asia Centre.

In July 2012, Catherine Ashton and Hillary Clinton agreed to cooperate more closely on peace and security, sustainable development and trade and economics in the Asia-Pacific. A joint statement was issued that touched upon a number of specific issues including non-proliferation, transnational crime, terrorism, cyber-security, climate change and counter-piracy, as well as the promotion of democracy and human rights. What has happened since the 2012 declaration? This dialogue sought to examine  how the transatlantic focus on the East has been carried out in practice at the policy level; the impact it has had on how the US and the EU engage with each other and with the region; and the role that trade negotiations and security challenges have played in moving toward a trilateral partnership. Discussions also touched upon whether crises on Europe’s borders have distracted the EU from engaging more deeply in Asia.