Newsletter n. 5 - March 2023
The South China Sea and Indo-Pacific in an Era of “Multipolar” Competition: A More Targeted EU Response? ZACHARY PAIKIN, GILANG KEMBARA, ANDREW MANTONG, STEVEN BLOCKMANS

How is power competition a major factor hampering EU efforts at crisis management in the Indo-Pacific and especially the South China Sea? The territorial disputes in the South China Sea are increasingly nested within a new imagined “Indo-Pacific” region, which is perhaps the most significant arena in the great power competition. The EU, a newcomer to this region, cannot ignore its crucial economic and geopolitical importance. Despite limited ability to reduce the constraints on its policy emanating from geopolitical rivalries, the EU should define a hard security role in the South China Sea in cooperation with ASEAN countries while keeping a distance from US-China confrontations.

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The EU Trapped in the Venezuelan Labyrinth: Challenges to Finding a Way Out ANNA AYUSO, MARIANNE RIDDERVOLD and ELSA LILJA GUNNARSDOTTIR

The EU's pursuit of a peaceful and democratic transition in Venezuela has been hindered by competition between the EU, the US, Russia and China, by intra-EU divisions over recognising Guaidó as interim president, as well as regional fragmentation as Latin American cooperation has been disrupted. This JOINT Report suggests that the EU's future approach should focus on mediation, conditional sanctions relief, electoral observation, parliamentary diplomacy, support for regional governance and interregional cooperation.

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Ethiopia and the Tigray War: Limits and Challenges of EU Policy in a Fragmented and Contested Region FRANCESCA CARUSO and JESUTIMILEHIN O. AKAMO

The EU and its member states have traditionally looked at Ethiopia as a strategic partner for regional stability. This assumption has led the Europeans to neglect Ethiopia’s internal dynamics, including the potential for fragmentation and violence. This JOINT Report analyses the EU's measures to reduce fragmentation in Ethiopia and the surrounding region, with a special focus on the recent war between the federal government and Tigray's rebels. It also considers the impact of competition between external players and divisions within the EU itself.

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The EU and Ukraine’s Public Opinion: Changing Dynamic OLEXIY HARAN and PETRO BURKOVSKYI

Since 1991, Ukraine’s society and political establishment chose a different path of transformation than Russia. Ukraine gained its independence peacefully and without internal conflicts. The majority of Ukrainians supported the idea of Ukraine becoming an EU member even before the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan protests, while having less positive attitudes toward NATO. The EU's policy toward Ukraine and the conflict in Donbas, however, seemed detached from reality and ignoring Ukrainian public opinion. This JOINT Brief provides an overview of Ukraine's relationship with the West, particularly the EU, in the years leading up to 2022.

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5 December 2022 ASEAN regional cooperation and its international relations explained by Prof. Evi Fitriani
10 October 2022 EU Foreign and Security Policy in the Indo-Pacific region with Gilang Kembara
5 December 2022 Europe’s epochal change towards defence strategies with Giulio Pugliese
10 October 2022 Horn of Africa, Libya and EU Foreign and Security Policy with Jesutimilehin Akamo
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JOINT is a multiannual project led by IAI-Istituto Affari Internazionali and involving 14 partners from 12 countries that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 959143

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