David McAllister – Plenary speech on the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific
The Indo-Pacific region has become one of the centres of geopolitical gravity and a rallying point for many global players. Its growing economic, demographic and political weight makes it an increasingly important region in shaping the international order.
Therefore, the European Union must increase its efforts and step up its strategic engagement with the region. Last year, first the Council adopted conclusions on an EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and then the High Representative presented a Joint Communication in September last year, which reflect the EU’s efforts and ambitions.
On Tuesday the European Parliament is going to vote on the report on the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific. This report assesses the EU’s strategy with regard to the security dimension, taking into account national strategies and new developments.
Generally, my report focuses on four parts that are of key importance.
- In security and defence, the unity among Member States will be key for the EU to assert effectively our presence in the Indo-Pacific and to achieve the ambition of strategic sovereignty amidst the increasing competition among global and regional powers in the region. In the absence of an overreaching security architecture in the Indo-Pacific, the EU should concentrate its efforts on maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific for all and on promoting an open and rules based regional security architecture.
- Our united approach to the region must also go hand in hand with targeted actions aimed at building strong partnerships and security cooperation with Indo-Pacific countries and regional cooperation forums. To do so, we should build on a vast network of trade, partnership and cooperation agreements concluded with a large number of regional countries in the past. A close coordination with our partners in the region is especially important in order to tackle the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
- Europe and the countries of the Indo-Pacific share increasingly similar challenges in a number of other security related areas, such as cyber security, terrorism and non-proliferation. As all these challenges directly affect the EU’s own security and prosperity. We need to address them in close cooperation and coordination with regional partners. A particular focus should be given to our key partners and like-minded democracies.
- Last but not least, the report highlights the necessity to tackle maritime security, cyber air and space as well as non-traditional security challenges.
To conclude, let me thank the shadow rapporteurs and also the team of the High Representative for the really good, constructive and fruitful cooperation.