The Indo-Pacific is critical to the EU’s goal of securing “a stronger Europe in the world”. In 2021, the EU released its Indo-Pacific strategy – an ambitious and wide-ranging strategy with an overarching aim of “maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific for all while building strong and lasting partnerships.” However, the EU’s decision to attempt to solidify and consolidate its Indo-Pacific presence is occurring at a time of significant regional unrest and uncertainty caused by an ongoing deterioration in Sino-American relations. As demonstrated by the UK’s foray into geopolitics via its membership in the AUKUS trilateral security pact and release of its own Indo-Pacific strategy, the EU’s Indo-Pacific role faces complexities. While the EU has the potential to play a significant and independent role in the region, it is imperative that this envisioned role is also shared by the various countries that reside there – otherwise the EU runs the risk of losing relevance and effectivness. This Network – encompassing EU and Indo-Pacific partners – will assess the critical question of “what is the most effective role for the EU in the Indo-Pacific?” The EU’s effectiveness in the region will rely on accurate contemporary knowledge of the states of the Indo-Pacific. This Network will create a unique grouping of EU and Indo-Pacific expertise (involving a mixture of academics, think-tankers, and foreign policy officials from both the EU and third countries) to conduct interviews, engage in Delphi style policy debates, and “policy sandpits” in eight Indo-Pacific countries: Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Early career researchers (especially post-docs and PhD students) from all the participating universities will be heavily involved in the project as well. The Network will provide high-level foreign policy analysis, forecasting, and outputs that will be of significant use for practitioners in the European External Actions.


Duration 01/09/2022 - 31/08/2025
Funding EU

Department for E-Governance and Administration

Center for E-Governance

Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Dr. Heidrun Maurer
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