The Ties that Bind: Protection and Projection of French and European interests in the Indian Ocean

    Activity: Conference/talk/lecture/symposium/speech/workshop, etcEvent organized by non-HKBU units


    In 2021, the EU published its Strategy for Co-operation in the Indo-Pacific. Prior to this EU-level initiative, however, other EU countries had produced their own strategic documents, most especially France. Under President Macron, France has made public a much more ambitious Indo-Pacific strategy. Presented by Macron himself in Sydney, Australia in May 2018, it promotes France not only as an Indo-Pacific nation and a stabilising force but also the world’s second maritime power, with military facilities and territories all the way from Djibouti to French Polynesia (Elysée Palace, 2018). It is aimed at both promoting France and the European Union (EU)’s strategic autonomy and reaching out like-minded countries in the region, as the United States, Japan, India and Australia, that can help France securing the vast maritime domain it controls, mitigating the multiple economic, health, climatic and environmental challenges that the region faces and balancing the disruptive influence of new hegemonic powers.
    Drawing on precise empirical examples from fieldwork in 2022 in the Indian Ocean islands of Comoros, Mayotte, Reunion and Mauritius, the paper maps out networks of influence and co-operation between European and allied countries that transcend narrow debates in international relations and European integration and depict an empirical reality of multi-stakeholder cooperation that is strictly bounded by the pursuit of national and cognate supra-national interests.

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    Period22 May 2024
    Event titleEuropean Union Studies Association Asia Pacific (EUSAPP) Conference on Revising EU-Asia-Pacific Relations
    Event typeConference
    LocationYoghakarta, IndonesiaShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational