Axel Berkofsky, Professor at the University of Pavia and Co-Head of Asia Center at ISPI
Gabriella Biondi, Deputy Director General/Principal Director for the Countries of Asia and Oceania, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Andrew Small, Associate Senior Policy Fellow, Asia programme, ECFR; Senior Transatlantic Fellow, Asia program, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Filippo Fasulo, Director, Italy-China Foundation’s Centre on Business Research (CeSIF)
The continuing rise of China and the onset of the pandemic have made asserting European strategic sovereignty in Asia ever more complex and difficult. Both developments mean that economics, security, and technology issues in Asia are becoming ever more intertwined.
On the one hand this leaves Europe exposed – its dependencies on China have grown, and the security framework that has enabled Europe’s burgeoning economic ties with the wider region is under strain. Yet as other Asian powers, and the United States under the new Biden administration, increasingly assess the emerging strategic competition through a geo-economic prism, Europe’s leverage and its opportunities for partnership have also grown. Europe should upgrade its security activities, and seize the moment to push multilateral institutions up the agenda. But it will be Europe’s connectivity agenda that provides the golden thread running through its foreign policy and its environmental, industrial, trade, development, values, and security objectives in the region.
ECFR recent policy brief “Promoting European strategic sovereignty in Asia” by ECFR experts Janka Oertel and Andrew Small will serve to kick off the discussion, which will be held in English, under Chatham House rules.