The EU Centre has published a new working paper by Dr Hong Wai Mun (Postdoctoral Research Fellow,Humboldt University of Berlin) entitled “The EU’s Group-to-Group Dialogue with the Southern Mediterranean and ASEAN – how much have they achieved? A Comparative Analysis”.
Four decades of the EU’s group-to-group dialogues with the Southern Mediterranean grouping of countries and with ASEAN have produced different dynamics and outcomes, despite the EU’s common strategy to use economic soft power to achieve their goals for the partnerships. Different conditions in the two regions created divergence in the EU’s application of its group-to-group approach.The paper discusses the different priorities of the EU in its relations with the Southern Mediterranean group of countries and ASEAN, and how these were in part driven by regional and global events resulting in different outcomes of the group-to-group dialogue.
Please download a free copy of the working paper here.
Four decades of the EU’s group-to-group dialogues with the Southern Mediterranean grouping of countries and with ASEAN have produced different dynamics and outcomes, despite the EU’s common strategy to use economic soft power to achieve their goals for the partnerships. Diverging conditions in the two regions created inconsistency in the EU’s application of the common approach. The EU’s neighbourhood security concerns forced it to relax its political stand with their Southern Mediterranean partners. For ASEAN, geographical distance dilutes the EU’s security concerns it that region and has afforded the EU to be more ideological and assertive on democracy and human rights practices. These issues have provoked disagreements in EU-ASEAN dialogues, but both sides have also tried to remain pragmatic in order to achieve some progress in the partnership. In contrast, the protracted the Arab-Israeli conflict continues to hamper the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue, resulting in little progress. Social upheavals in the Southern Mediterranean also brought their partnership to a standstill. The EU’s cooperation with former authoritarian regimes like Libya and Syria have only caused damage to its credibility in the Southern Mediterranean, and future Euro-Mediterranean dialogues are likely to be affected by it.