Katja Weber on What Lies Ahead in EU-Asia Relations

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On February 12, Katja Weber, professor and director of Graduate Studies in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, participated in the Miami-Florida Jean Monnet Center of Excellence conference “The Rising Importance of EU-Asia Relations.” 

In her talk “EU-ASEAN Relations: What Lies Ahead?,” Weber explained that relations between Europe and Southeast Asia have been, and continue to be, complex. In the 20th century alone, Southeast Asia experienced colonialism, decolonization and, toward the latter part of the century, significant economic aid from the European Community as well as enhanced commercial ties with Europe. Cognizant of the history of the region, the European Union, for many years, has settled for supporting economic development and aiding in capacity-building.

Weber argues that given recent changes in the international environment, such as the greater assertiveness of China in Southeast Asia as well as growing uncertainty regarding the future role of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region which threatens several Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) members’ foreign policy autonomy and undermines ASEAN unity and centrality, there is an opportunity for the EU to play a greater role in the region. This is at a time when the Southeast Asian countries are seeking to avoid putting all their eggs in one basket and are increasingly trying to tackle excessive dependencies on China. The EU, which already has made substantial investments in the region, may be able to build onto existing relationships in the economic and political realms and solidify them. 

Other topics discussed during the conference were historical connections, economic developments, political considerations and diplomacy between the EU and Asia. Weber was able to meet new colleagues who work on EU-Asia relations and lay the foundation for collaboration on a future project. 

In addition to her role of director of Graduate Studies, Katja Weber directs Georgia Tech’s Southeast Asia Summer Study Abroad Program. Her research interests center around institution-building in Europe and Asia Pacific, sovereignty-related and human rights norms, and non-traditional security challenges. 


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:jpalacios9
  • Created:02/21/2019
  • Modified By:Rebecca Keane
  • Modified:02/27/2019