Western Europe and East Asia : a political partnership needed?


Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The post-war relationship between Western Europe and East Asia has been a distant one, marked by a strong element of commercial contention, without any real political or cultural complementarity. This article attempts to assess the contemporary character of and future prospects for Western Europe’s relations with the East Asian region, but by focusing on the politico-security aspects rather than the more commonly-considered economic dimension. This is not to deny that the essence of Western Europe’s relationship with the East Asian region is economic, but rather to argue that the politico-security aspects cannot simply be ignored.

Western Europe has become increasingly difficult to define, but the focus will be on the existing 12 member countries of the European Community (EC) or, as it has become known since November 1993, the European Union (EU). On occasions, however, the term ’Europe' will be used to denote wider geopolitical concerns. East Asia is broadly defined as those countries in the geographical span between Japan and Myanmar (Burma). However, the EC/EU-level relationship with individual East Asian countries or even sub-regional groupings has become increasingly entangled with the relationships between individual EU member states and those same East Asian countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Politics and Economics of Europe
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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