Multilateral Co-operation and Building Trust: Ideas for EU-Asian Relations

  • Carlyle A. Thayer (Autor/in)


This paper considers the relationship between the European Union and Asia with the purpose of developing new ideas for multilateral co-operation and building of trust in the area of comprehensive security. Specifically, this paper focuses on cooperation between Europe and Asia in three multilateral institutions: Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN Regional Forum and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process. The paper notes that Asia is contested concept and that none of the institutions is universal in its membership. Next, the paper reviews the recent history of Europe-Asia relations and notes that extensive areas of cooperation have already been mapped out. The paper therefore argues that Europe must prioritize immediate and long-term challenges to Asian regionalism and regional security. Six major issues are then highlighted: the ASEAN Charter and community building, Australia's proposal for the creation of an Asia Pacific Community, the situation Myanmar, conflict resolution in regional hot spots, mitigation of the impact of climate change and developing safe nuclear energy. The paper way to address these issues and build trust is through the cluster where individual European and Asian states take the lead on issues of particular concern.