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Connecting Europe and Asia - Building blocks for an EU Strategy

Key points:

The EESC considers the Joint Communication to be most timely. The world order is changing at its fastest rate for nearly thirty years, the post-war international trading order is under significant challenge, the balance of global economic power is moving eastwards and Asian global purchasing power is growing exponentially.

The EESC welcomes the emphasis in the Communication on sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based connectivity.

The Committee notes however with deep concern the number of significant strategic gaps. The opportunity has not been taken to give any real depth of vision to the future development of the EU's relationship and connectivity with Asia, with little overt recognition of its broad diversity or complexity. There is no roadmap nor any firm indication of the EU's strategic objectives, whether these be complementary or competitive. The EESC also questions why so little, if any, reference is made to many recent, critically important developments affecting both the EU and Asia.