Regional Connectivity in Asia: New Avenues for EU-India Partnership
Promoting a rules-based, multilateral global order is a central goal of the EU global strategy on foreign and security policy, 2016. However, with the global shift of power towards Asia, the established multilateral system and international organizations are under increasing pressure. China is at the center of this challenge. Beijing-led multilateral arrangements have economic and geopolitical implications for Europe and India alike: they threaten Europe’s centrality in the Eurasian neighborhood and markets, and could posit China as the primary actor in India’s near neighborhood. And yet neither partner has found an effective approach to deal with these challenges. Looking closely at regional connectivity projects including the Belt and Road initiative (OBOR), this policy brief argues that they present similar opportunities and challenges for the EU and India alike. By building on these convergences, the two can revive their flagging strategic partnership and gain greater influence in shaping the regional order in Asia.