On December 13 to 15, 2011, IRSEA's President, Ambassador (r) Gheorghe Savuica, has attended the anual meeting of the European Alliance for Asian Studies and the EU for Asia final conference titled „Re-engaging Europe with Asia”, held in the Hague. The debates were focused on the impact of the financial crises on regional economic integration and also on the relevance of EU involvement in the security dialogues in Asia
Regarding the first issue, it was concluded that both Asia and Europe have experienced major financial crises challenging the ability of regional integration frameworks to respond effectively. Beyond the immediate demand for crisis management to stabilise markets, support market actors, and shield the public sector, these crises raise the issue of further developing the processes and institutions of integration in order to improve responses to future challenges. Given the differences in the patterns of integration, Europe and Asia are likely to look for different options to shape their integration frameworks. On the other hand, the challenges facing them, such as the power of global financial markets, the need for economic growth, the role of actors who are “too big to fail,” as well as the imperatives of sustainable national budgets, are comparable.
From the strategic point of view, the EU has often been seen as a significant economic power, but not an important strategic player in Asian security issues. This is particularly true since security in Asia is still very much seen through the lens of military security and issues concerning territorial integrity and sovereignty. The role of the EU as a non‐traditional security actor while appreciated by some quarters has not been prominent. Would the EU be able to leverage its participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum to become a more active participant in emerging security dialogues in Asia, such as the expanded East Asia Summit and/or the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM)? Or would the seeming inability of the EU to craft a cohesive and coherent foreign and security policy impede its potential to engage Asia?