The EU and the US in search of Common Ground: Extending the Transatlantic to an Indo-Pacific Partnership?
CSDS POLICY BRIEF • 4/2021
By Ramon Pacheco Pardo and Michael Reiterer
While the EU is responding positively to President Biden´s overtures to allies and is ready to extend its Transatlantic engagement with the US to an Indo-Pacific partnership, both partners have to find common ground which takes into account their interests. The EU´s tryptic towards China – partner, competitor, rival – resonates with the US. The EU´s focus is on providing a level playing field, applying multilateralism and openness when and where possible, a policy China´s assertiveness and infringement of human rights renders difficult. Engagement of the EU in the Indo-Pacific may offer those who don’t want to be directly implicated in the great power rivalry between the US and China a third option to hedge. Creating synergies of the many connectivity projects in the regions could become a major contribution of the EU in addition to enhancing security cooperation in and with Asia. The paper offers concrete procedural and substantiative suggestions for the EU and the US to enlarge cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, counting on the EU´s Indo-Pacific Strategy to be presented at the Foreign Affairs Council on 19 April and presented by Managing Director Gunnar Wiegand at a CSDS seminar on 20 April 2021 at 11.00 am.