The Digital Decade: The EU, Partnerships and Governance in the Indo-Pacific

CSDS In-Depth | December 2022
Raluca Csernatoni and Ramon Pacheco Pardo


The geopolitical and geoeconomic weight of the Indo-Pacific region is expanding at an unprecedented rate. The region has become both the epicentre of global power dynamics and home to fast growing and vibrant digital ecosystems. From digital trade, investments in innovation, connectivity partnerships, critical infrastructures, supply chains, and data flows, the Indo-Pacific is likely to impact global digitalisation megatrends across businesses and societies. The European Union and the Indo-Pacific are highly interconnected. This report aims to assess the role of digital governance and partnerships in the EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and to understand whether there is a pan-Indo-Pacific digital governance and cybersecurity framework.

To this end, this report maps the architecture of digital governance initiatives in the Indo-Pacific and it examines the EU’s engagements in the region and potential digital governance synergies. Additionally, the report zooms in on cybersecurity in the Indo-Pacific and the EU’s approach, and it proposes seven recommendations for the EU’s promotion of multilateralism and (digital) partnerships in the Indo-Pacific. Overall, the report observes that, for the EU to become a stronger digital and cybersecurity actor in the region, it should take a holistic and cross-sectoral approach to digital governance and cybersecurity. The Union should also help develop critical infrastructures and get involved in a wide range of issues, including supply chain resilience, critical infrastructure, data governance, and digital trade. It is further recommended that the EU should work closer together with the largest number of like-minded partners as possible, but especially Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea.