Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia

Project description

Title: Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia
Commissioned by: European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Partner: Expertise France
Country: India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Viet Nam 
Overall term: 2020 to 2024


The Asia-Pacific is of high strategic importance for the EU as Europe’s security and prosperity are closely intertwined with developments in the region. Yet engagement on security issues in and with Asia can be complex and challenging. Multiple factors shape the Asian security landscape, from historical grievances and territorial disputes to ethnic tensions, and from the interplay of local and external power shifts to the global challenges of organised crime, terrorism and security of the commons in maritime and cyber space. Rising tension is driving defence investments across the region, and a corresponding interest in diversifying cooperative relationships. 

The EU Global Strategy from June 2016 and European Council Conclusions from May 2018 on “Enhancing EU Security Cooperation in and with Asia” underline the EU's commitment to scale-up its security engagement in and with Asia to complement its economic reach. The EU's security engagement shall become more concrete and operational to increase its value as a trusted security partner in Asia. This project supports the EU’s Security and Defence Dialogues with pilot countries in Asia through practical cooperation, professional exchanges and capacity building, thus helping to create and/or deepen relations at the working level, strengthen networks and generate information to feed back into political processes. It aims to extend and complement what the EU already realises through ongoing political action. 


The European Union’s security engagement in and with Asia by supporting tailor-made cooperation is enhanced in an initial set of six pilot countries; India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Viet Nam.



The German Federal Foreign Office and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs have decided to join the endeavour and co-finance the project. The project is implemented jointly by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Expertise France.

EU security-related efforts will be undertaken together with the countries concerned in four priority areas: Counter-Terrorism/Prevention of Violent Extremism (CT/PVE), Cybersecurity, Maritime Security and Crisis Management. These four areas are where the EU's interests and priorities intersect with the greatest opportunities for enhanced cooperation with partners in the region. Partners will cooperate with the EU in one or several of these areas, depending on shared or converging interests.

The project is built on three pillars:

Pillar 1: Policy Dialogue
To support dialogues or other forms of relevant consultation with practical security activities, and to build confidence to develop common strategic interests, thus making security dialogue with partner countries deeper and more operational.

Pillar 2: Cooperation and Capacity Building
To promote greater convergence with EU standards and operating procedures among partner countries, thus facilitating support and contributions to EU activities, taking account of and promoting the implementation or further development of National Action Plans on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

Pillar 3: Public Diplomacy
To increase international awareness and acknowledgement of the EU’s contribution to security in the world and in and with Asia.

Implementation will observe the following guiding principles:

  • The action will follow the methodology of the EU’s Partnership Instrument (PI), which is a foreign policy instrument designed to achieve political results, i.e. to influence processes. Practical activities should add value to the EU policy framework, supporting the political priorities that have been agreed in EU official dialogues and high-level visits. The project will not replace but rather complement existing dialogues, consultations, outreach, exchange and cooperation with the particular countries. 
  • Through the activities, the project will promote the objectives of human security and security sector governance in the region. The status of women is a key issue for security and stability everywhere. Gender equality will thus be an aspect of particular importance for the design, implementation and monitoring of the actions in all six pilot countries.
  • The project will adopt an incremental and flexible approach to planning and implementation in close coordination with the EU institutions, the Member States’ embassies in the six pilot countries and implementing partners. 
  • Implementation of the action will be accompanied by establishing an academic network bringing together actors from EU and pilot countries to conduct research on relevant topics, link up with other (research) projects and partners from state institutions and civil society organisations, and provide feedback to the management and steering structures.