Over the past decades, the world’s economic and geopolitical centre of gravity has been shifting towards the Indo-Pacific. Indications so far suggest that the Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend. Creating 60% of global GDP and two-thirds of global growth, the Indo-Pacific plays a crucial role not only in rebuilding economies in a post-pandemic world, but also in addressing global challenges such as climate change, cyber and maritime security and emerging technologies. At the same time, it has become the neuralgic center of territorial conflicts, local as well as regional security crises and rising tension between the US and China. As the EU has turned its focus towards the region, spelling out a comprehensive Indo-Pacific strategy, it is vital to accompany the current developments through an open and constructive dialogue on challenges and opportunities.
In the year of the 60th anniversary of the conference, the 177th Bergedorf Round Table has examined the future of Europe's relations with its partners in the region, traced the interlinkages of security and prosperity and carved out future pathways of cooperation between the EU and the Indo-Pacific. It sought to explore the EU’s ties with its partners in the Indo-Pacific and address the most urgent geopolitical challenges in the region.
A distinguished group of 35 high-ranking politicians, government officials, and representatives of think tanks and academia from Germany, other EU member states as well as the European institutions discussed these questions during the 177th Bergedorf Round Table on 22 November 2021. In light of current developments, the Round Table took place in a digital format.