The EU and its far-abroad

Interregional relations with other continents

Santander Sébastian, Ponjaert Frederik

Since the end of the cold war, interregional dynamics have become a fixture both of the global multilayered multilateral system, as well as of the EU's efforts to strengthen said international system. Such interregional arrangements are deeply rooted in the new regional associations which emerged at the end of the 1980's. Since the collapse of the bipolar world order, various regional dynamics have flourished across the globe. This new wave of regionalism included a broad variety of forms and scopes of regional cooperation, nonetheless it allowed a growing number of regional entities - among first and foremost the EU - to develop multifaceted region-to-region relations. These complex multi-issued interregional arrangements have grown exponentially as they have come to meet functional and structural needs of their constituent members. Among the various roles such interregional initiatives can assume, one can distinguish between: power-balancing efforts, agenda-setting and cost-cutting concerns, protection against unwanted external pressures, institutionalizing political dialogue and consultation, and reflexive region strengthening. All of these functions can be called upon in varying degrees according to the specific context and history of any given arrangement. A detailed study of two of the EU's core region-to-region relationships - the EU-Latin America and the EU-East Asia interregional arrangements - clearly illustrates the systemic foundations, the historical path-dependencies and the contextual factors, both the exogenous and endogenous, which have come to shape these different yet comparable interregional dynamics.

Type Book part
Identificateur urn:isbn:0-415-54950-7
Language en
Length 283 308
  • Europe in the World
  • Science politique générale
Publisher Routeldge
Publication date 2009
  • SCOPUS: ch.b
  • interregionalism
  • Far-Abroad
ULB Institutional Reference