In an international system marked by power shifts and deepening interdependence, the European Union’s relations with pivotal global and regional powers will play a critical role. Over the last decade, the EU has set up 10 strategic partnerships with a range of important countries: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States.
The European Strategic Partnerships Observatory (ESPO) provides information and analysis on the EU’s relations with its strategic partners and on the connection between bilateral partnerships and multilateral cooperation. The purpose is to monitor the evolution of the partnerships, collect data and provide a regular stream of timely, tailor-made analyses from experts in Europe and beyond.
ESPO is a joint project of FRIDE and Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations and is kindly supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.
After years of limited progress, the EU-Brazil partnership may be inching towards a new level of cooperation. Trade, investment and security are key areas.
The EU strategic partnerships with BASIC countries can prove critical to make progress at bilateral level in curbing emissions and unlock stalemate on the multilateral stage.
This ESPO report looks at EU partnerships with Brazil, China, India and the US and finds that bilateral relations struggle to engender convergence at the global level on macroeconomic issues.
The September summit between the EU and South Africa marked some progress on the political dialogue and confirmed the importance of the economic partnership.
The September summit between the EU and China took record of progress but also registered regrets and divergence on important economic and political issues.
In terms of values, Brazil and the EU are close partners. Nevertheless, they hardly ever adopt common positions on the international stage. How can this distancing be explained and how can the strategic partnership be deepened?
With Putin back in power and the EU mired in crisis, the future of the EU-Russia partnership is uncertain.
The partnership between the EU and Russia remains a contested one despite some recent steps in the right direction.
EU strategic partnerships serve multiple purposes in an uncertain global context. Bilateral relations should be mobilised to enhance international cooperation.
The China-EU summit last February has improved the atmospherics of mutual relations but the partnership’s potential remains unfulfilled.
Strategic partnerships have not delivered strategic results yet. They should be made more effective with a focus on the guidelines outlined in this policy brief.
The EU-India Summit made progress on the bilateral compact of the strategic partnership. More needs to be done for convergence on the multilateral level.