EU in the Indo Pacific (EUIP)

What role for the EU in the Indo-Pacific? (EUIP)

What role for the EU in the Indo-Pacific? 

Aim and Scope

The Indo-Pacific is critical to the EU’s goal of securing “a stronger Europe in the world”. In 2021, the EU released its Indo-Pacific strategy – an ambitious and wide-ranging strategy with an overarching aim of “maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific for all while building strong and lasting partnerships.” However, the EU’s decision to attempt to solidify and consolidate its Indo-Pacific presence is occurring at a time of significant regional unrest and uncertainty caused by an ongoing deterioration in Sino-American relations. As demonstrated by the UK’s foray into geopolitics via its membership in the AUKUS trilateral security pact and release of its own Indo-Pacific strategy, the EU’s Indo-Pacific role faces complexities. While the EU has the potential to play a significant and independent role in the region, it is imperative that this envisioned role is also shared by the various countries that reside there – otherwise the EU runs the risk of losing relevance and effectiveness.

This Network – run by the National Centre for Research on Europe and encompassing 27 EU and Indo-Pacific partners – assesses the critical question of “what is the most effective role for the EU in the Indo-Pacific?” The EU’s effectiveness in the region will rely on accurate contemporary knowledge of the states of the Indo-Pacific. This Network will create a unique grouping of EU and Indo-Pacific expertise (involving a mixture of academics, think-tankers, and foreign policy officials from both the EU and third countries) to conduct interviews, engage in Delphi style policy debates, and “policy sandpits” in eight Indo-Pacific locations: Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. The Network will provide high-level foreign policy analysis, forecasting, and outputs that will be of significant use for practitioners in the European External Actions Service (EEAS), the European Commission (particularly DG Trade and DG DEFIS), and the analyst and think tank community involved in foreign policy consultation (in Brussels and Europe). 


Our team of experts are available for media interviews, present findings on New Zealand perceptions of the European Union, organise EU focused events and visits to New Zealand by leading European Union experts. Feel free to get in touch with us.

Nicholas Ross Smith

Senior Research Fellow and Academic Lead of the EUIP Network
NCRE, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand


This project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. The European Union can not be held responsible for them.