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EU Council approves conclusions on Indo-Pacific strategy

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

EU Council approves conclusions on Indo-Pacific strategy:


Context:

The Council of the European Union has approved conclusions on a European Union strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific to “reinforce its strategic focus, presence and actions” with the aim to contribute to “regional stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development,” at a time of “rising challenges and tensions in the region.”

The renewed EU commitment to the Indo-Pacific will:

  • Have a long-term focus and will be based on “upholding democracy, human rights, the rule of law and respect for international law.
  • Aim to promote effective rules-based multilateralism.
  • Work together in order to mitigate the economic and human effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and work towards ensuring an inclusive and sustainable socio-economic recovery.

What necessiated this?

Current dynamics in the Indo-Pacific have given rise to intense geopolitical competition adding to increasing tensions on trade and supply chains as well as in technological, political and security areas. Human rights are also being challenged. These developments increasingly threaten the stability and security of the region and beyond, directly impacting on the EU’s interests.

What is Indo- Pacific?

The idea of the Indo-Pacific as a single strategic space is an outgrowth of China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region. It signifies the interconnectedness of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the importance of the oceans to security and commerce.

Importance of Indo-Pacific region:

  1. Maintaining regional stability.
  2. Strong ties with the US are seen as a vital tool for enhancing India’s strategic posture.
  3. For the long-term vision of national interest.
  4. China’s increasingly active presence in the Indian Ocean region as well as its efforts to expand geopolitical reach in Asia and beyond by the use of trade and military.
  5. For adhering to freedom of navigation, adherence to rules-based order and stable trade environment.
  6. For free sea and air lanes, connectivity and upholding international rules and norms.

Role and Implications for India in the Indo – pacific region:

  • The Indo-Pacific, as described in the National security strategy, represents the most populous and economically dynamic part of the world and stretches from the west coast of India to the western shores of the United States.
  • India has always been a country with great national ambitions and is one of the most important advocates of the concept of “Indo-Pacific Strategy”.
  • With opening of economy, India has been connecting with its Indian Ocean neighbours and major maritime powers of the world.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Pacific Region.
  2. Overview of Indian Ocean Region.
  3. Important straits, bays and passes in these regions.

Mains Link:

Discuss the strategic significance of Indo- Pacific region for India.

Sources: the Hindu.

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