With the global economic and strategic centre of gravity shifting eastwards, both Europe and the US are unsurprisingly placing greater focus on the Indo-Pacific. Their respective approaches to the region often overlap but diverge on significant points. These include the level of priority given to the region, the principal issues to tackle, the key partners for cooperation and the most useful platforms for engagement.
The transatlantic partners recognize the need to make their Indo-Pacific policies and strategies more coherent and effective. Opportunities exist for a Europe–US ‘division of labour’ across the Indo-Pacific, based on factors such as existing diplomatic and economic ties, geographical presence or thematic expertise. Meanwhile, ‘minilateral’ initiatives like the G7, the Quad and AUKUS have the potential to become more influential forums and synergies between them would reduce duplication of effort via new structures.
This paper explores the factors enabling or inhibiting transatlantic cooperation, before outlining the priorities, partners and platforms for European and US engagement on and in the Indo-Pacific.