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The European Union’s Security Intervention in the Indo-Pacific: Between Multilateralism and Mercantile Interests


Is the EU raising its political and security profile in the Indo-Pacific solely because of China’s assertiveness or US–China strategic competition, as often posited? On the basis of official documentation and elite interviews, this article advances a more nuanced view of the rationale behind the EU’s engagement there. Aside from increased European naval involvement the EU and its member states are fostering the capacity building of Indo-Pacific countries concerned with their maritime safety, maritime security and to uphold the rules-based multilateral order. Yet, this article demonstrates how mercantile goals lie behind the EU and its member states’ politico-security engagement.