Publications

Navigating the Indo-Pacific Tides: Key Takeaways from the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum 2024

Amidst the complex currents of geopolitics, economic interdependence, and global challenges, the Third EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum convened in Brussels on 1-2, February 2024, hosted by Josep Borrell Fontelles, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission. Now in its third year, the forum holds significant weight as a cornerstone of the EU’s overarching strategy for Indo-Pacific cooperation, originally conceived in 2021. As the EU and the Indo-Pacific region increasingly intertwine across security, economy, and society, the imperative for a unified and well-coordinated response to common challenges as well as opportunities becomes ever more apparent.

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Japan and the European Chips Act

Japan is investing heavily to become a major producer of high-end electronic components, while the EU is looking to secure resilient supply chains. This might be the perfect opportunity for the EU and Japan to strengthen their ties and form a closer bond, truly realizing their respective and joint potential.

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Elections in Taiwan: What’s at Stake for the European Union?

On 13 January 2024, the Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secured the island’s presidency with 40% of the vote, simultaneously losing its majority in the concurrent elections for the Legislative Yuan, its parliament. The historic election, coming at the end point of a bitterly contested 3-way race between the DPP, its historical rival Kuomintang (KMT), and the novel Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), was marked by political polarisation, the proliferation of fake news, and Chinese attempts to influence the election towards the relatively China-friendly KMT. While the world worries about escalation in the Taiwan strait, a crucial gateway for commerce for both China and the European Union (EU), the reactions to the DPP’s win suggest that the next 4 years of DPP governance may herald few seismic changes in Taiwan’s relationship with China, the United States, and the EU.

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Navigating the Green Transition: The EU and Vietnam’s Partnership for a Decarbonised Future

In the aftermath of COP28 in Dubai, the début of Vietnam’s Resource Mobilisation Plan (RMP) by its Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính signifies a notable milestone in advancing the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP). The timing of the launch also highlights the progress made one year after the collaborative agreement was formed between Vietnam and the International Partners Group (IPG), co-led by the EU and the UK, during the December 2022 EU-ASEAN summit in Brussels.

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COP28: The Beginning of the End of Fossil Fuels?

The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Conference of the Parties (COP28), concluded in Dubai on 13 December 2023 with an important agreement, heralding the “beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era” according to the UNFCCC. The accord aims to further the change to a “swift, just, and equitable” transition marked by substantial emissions reductions and increased financial commitments, especially towards developing countries. The nearly 200 participating Parties collectively decided on the world’s first global stocktake to intensify climate action before 2030, aiming to maintain the Paris Agreement global temperature limit of 1.5 °C. The 2023 record-breaking conference drew over 90,000 participants to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to negotiate, share solutions, and build partnerships.

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Kishida’s Shaky Future: Navigating the LDP’s Uncertain Future

Will Kishida last? New polls show falling approval for the Japanese LDP Prime Minister. This closely mirrors the situation his predecessor Yoshihide Suga was in before him, ultimately leading to his resignation. While Kishida has made it clear that a new election is only due to take place in September 2024, how can potential risks and instabilities as a result of his dwindling support be mitigated by then and what can be envisioned for the future of EU-Japan relations?

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The EU-China Summit: Rekindling Face-to-Face Talks

On 7 December 2023 the EU and China held their 24th Summit in Beijing. At their first in-person summit since 2019 European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, accompanied by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang in two separate sessions. Anticipations for the summit’s outcome remained modest due to prevailing challenges in EU-China relations. Despite the low expectations and the lack of a joint statement in conclusion, the summit offered a forum for EU and Chinese leaders to meet face-to-face, discuss topics of key importance and emphasise the need to uphold mutually beneficial relations.

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