Europe-Asia Interregional Relations (The International by Bart Gaens

By Bart Gaens

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Further emphasis was placed on German-Asian cooperation in the fields of science and technology, the environment, telecommunications, development, education, culture, as well as political and security dialogue. 16 Europe-Asia Interregional Relations The German Asia-concept also had important ramifications for the larger EU framework. The strategy was intended to function as a signal to the outside that higher priority should be given to the Asia-Pacific region. The development of relations between the EC and the countries and regions of the Asia-Pacific had to be at the basis of an active policy geared toward the conclusion of “third-generation cooperation agreements”.

The EU therefore also aimed to enhance security and stability and balance the power relations by promoting interaction between the different actors in the region, 24 Europe-Asia Interregional Relations in particular with the involvement of China in mind. As a non-military power, the EU could furthermore achieve results in the area of conflict prevention and “soft security”. The political dimension also offered possibilities for the EU to advocate and promote the principles which it deems important such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s the European Community undertook 18 Europe-Asia Interregional Relations several actions for deepening integration. The completion of an integrated internal market was inaugurated with the Single European Act in 1986, and continued with the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and common currency that were included in the 1992 Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty). The Maastricht Treaty also introduced the Common Foreign and Security policy (CFSP), a significant change in the level of ambitiousness of foreign policy cooperation.

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