Current Challenges in EU-Asia Relations and Launch of The Palgrave Handbook of EU-Asia Relations

EIAS Panel Discussion and Book Launch 12/02/2013

With the on-going Eurozone crisis, the bursting of the US housing bubble and the subsequent global financial crisis of 2007 – which predominantly harmed Northern American and European economies – Asia’s economic, political and diplomatic importance gained prominence within the global context. The economic slowdown of the West has altered the narrative of recent years, increasingly referring to concepts such as “Europe’s decline” alongside “the Asian century” and “China’s rise”. These recurring terms imply a shift of global power structures away from the West and towards the Far East. While the post-World War II era had been dominated at first by a bipolar world order which later transitioned into a unipolar system led by the United States, recent indications suggest a gradual shift towards a multipolar world order. This new order will be dominated by various main players with differing – to greater and lesser extents – economic, political, social, cultural as well as historical backgrounds and systems.

The EIAS Round Table Discussion and Book Launch brought together all three editors of The Palgrave Handbook of EU-Asia Relations: Prof Thomas Christiansen from Maastricht University, Prof Emil Kirchner from Essex University and Prof Philomena Murray from the University of Melbourne. Also present were four of the contributors, namely Prof Gustaaf Geeraerts from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Dr Michael Reiterer, Senior Advisor in the Asia Pacific Department of the European External Action Service, Prof Cillian Ryan from Birmingham University and Prof Jan Wouters from KU Leuven. Ms Shada Islam, Head of Policy at Friends of Europe, chaired the panel discussion in which the speakers shared their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of current EU-Asian relations and their future development.

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