Final Report on Interregional Cooperation
The purpose of this report is to analyse the EU’s interregional relationships around the world, focusing on the six security issues emphasised in the EU-GRASP project: regional conflict, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), terrorism, migration, energy and climate change, and human rights.
Although some security issues certainly involve more interregional cooperation than others, interregional cooperation can seldom be properly understood in isolation from other forms of cooperation, especially bilateral and multilateral cooperation. It is therefore important how regions and interregionalism are conceptualised and also situated within a broader multilevel framework. Conceptualisation will be discussed in the next section, which in turn also draws attention to relevance of the transversal workpackage of the EU-GRASP project.
In terms of counterpart regions, there is a long history of a rather loose form of interregionalism between the EU and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, and this interregional policy has been partly revised under the new Cotonou Agreement and other recent frameworks. Although interregionalism is not explicitly mentioned as an objective in the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), it is deeply rooted in the European Commission’s and the EU’s foreign policies and external relations with most regions (Aggarwal and Fogarty 2004; Hänggi, Roloff, and Rüland 2006; Söderbaum and van Langenhove 2006). Indeed, particularly since the 1990s interregional cooperation has been further developed as a key feature of the EU’s foreign policies with other counterpart regions, at least in official declarations. Indeed, we are witnessing a trend whereby the European Commission and other European policymakers seek to promote interregional cooperation with other regions around the world, albeit not always with a consistent formulation (Söderbaum and Stålgren 2010). The report covers EU’s interregional relations with Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean.