Paper/ The South China Sea and Indo-Pacific in an Era of “Multipolar” Competition: A More Targeted EU Response? by Zachary Paikin, Gilang Kembara, Andrew Mantong & Steven Blockmans


This new JOINT research paper by Zachary Paikin (CEPS – Centre for European Policy Studies), Gilang Kembara (CSIS Indonesia – Centre for Strategic and International Studies), Andrew Mantong (CSIS Indonesia – Centre for Strategic and International Studies) & Steven Blockmans (CEPS – Centre for European Policy Studies) evaluates how much influence Brussels can hope to have in the South China Sea and the adjacent theatres.

Despite its geographical distance, the EU must take notice of these crucial regions as the great power conflict deepens. The paper evaluates whether there is a hard-power role for the EU to play in the South-China Sea and whether EU interests there differ from in the wider Indo-Pacific. Although states in the region welcome greater EU engagement, the EU and its Member States must take care to listen to the region’s priorities if they wish to be seen as a credible and independent actor.


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