The EU-South Africa strategic partnership reflects a shift away from their traditional donor-recipient relationship. As South Africa emerges as a donor in its own right, there is potential for greater EU-South Africa collaboration to promote development in Africa and at global level. South Africa and the EU share a common focus on Africa’s development and security, as well on poverty reduction and normative issues of human rights and governance. Such convergence offers potential for trilateral development cooperation, which has yet to be explored. However, South Africa's concerns about the impact of broader EU policies on African development and about EU commitments to shift aid away from middle income countries could be barriers to deeper engagement.
The EU-Brazil strategic partnership on international development has delivered little. Limited commitment and operational constraints have so far undermined high-level pledges to undertake trilateral cooperation. Brazil and the EU often hold different positions on the contested multilateral development agenda. However, there is scope for closer cooperation between the two partners on various issues including food security. In addition, their further engagement would greatly contribute to bridging the divide between traditional and emerging donors.
China has been actively engaged in developing strategic partnerships with third countries, particularly since the early 2000s. These partnerships have proven a prominent instrument in China's diplomatic toolkit, in order to guarantee a benign environment for its rise. As China rises, and as part of the international community becomes increasingly suspicious of this ascent, Beijing’s strategic partnership diplomacy will face unprecedented challenges. China is thus likely to become more proactive and creative, differentiate more between different relationships and strive for a better connection between bilateral partnerships and other diplomatic tools.
On 27 June Moldova and Georgia will sign Association Agreements with the European Union (EU) in Brussels, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) accords. That same day Ukraine will also sign a DCFTA, thus finalising its Association Agreement with the EU. While both Ukraine and Georgia have firmly chosen a closer relationship with the EU, in Moldova the situation is fragile. Russia could easily deploy economic, political and security instruments that would bring turmoil to Moldova, similarly to Ukraine, thereby hampering Moldova’s association with the EU.
Cyber-security and cyber-governance are increasingly shaping the international agenda, not least in the aftermath of the Snowden revelations and various cases of cyber-attacks from China and Russia. Governments worldwide have come to realise that their national security also depends on the security of their computers and technological devices. The European Union is no exception. In this context, international cooperation is becoming ever more important, while the regulation of the cyber-space becomes more contested. The EU is progressively raising its profile in this debate, for which strategic partnerships prove a useful instrument in its toolbox.
Much has been written about European policies and views regarding Central Asia. But how do Central Asians see the EU? This paper offers insights into how politicians, business leaders, scholars and civil society experts from Central Asia view the EU and its approach to the region.