Strategic Partnerships: The European Union’s Quest for Global Clout

Image: Flickr, Dimitar Nikolov
Image: Flickr, Dimitar Nikolov

The European Union (EU) has revisited many of its external policies with the view to strengthen its relations with strategic partners in the developing world, and to boost its visibility as a pivotal political actor on the global stage.

These steps are partly the result of important changes in the global geo-political landscape. China and India, among others, are becoming increasingly significant global actors and have therefore emerged as key interlocutors for the EU.

The need for the EU to re-evaluate the content, nature and structure of its past bilateral partnerships comes in the wake of the European Security Strategy of 2003 and its call to reappraise partnerships in light of the EU’s broader foreign policy priorities. This research paper explores more thoroughly the EU’s expanded network of strategic partnerships agreements, examining what drives the EU in its co-operation with these key global players.

SAIIA sincerely thanks those who acted as peer reviewers for these papers.

10 Jun 2009