Mabini Dialogue Explores EU’s Role as a Security Actor in Asia

Mr. Pedro Serrano De Haro Soriano discusses the importance of Asia in EU foreign and security policy.

The “center of gravity” is shifting to Asia, which makes the peace, stability, and security in the region crucial to EU, stressed Pedro Serrano De Haro Soriano, Deputy Secretary-General for Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and Crisis Response at the European External Action Service of the European Union (EU) during the Foreign Service Institute’s (FSI) latest Mabini Dialogue.

FSI held the event dubbed as “The EU as a Global Security Actor” on 24 May 2019 at the Carlos P. Romulo Library, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). This event was held in partnership with the Delegation of the EU to the Philippines and the DFA Office of European Affairs.

Deputy Secretary-General Serrano said that the EU has become a stronger and more resilient actor in matters of security and defense. In today’s challenging security environment, however, the EU needs partners. Hence, the EU needs to strengthen its cooperation with Asian partners to support the EU’s efforts.

While recognizing that the EU is more familiar to Asia as an economic partner with “soft power,” the EU has stepped up to take on the role of a security actor, added Deputy Secretary-General Serrano.

He also shared recent developments in European security and defense and security initiatives in the Asian region within the framework of the EU CSDP. He highlighted the EU’s readiness to engage in ASEAN-led mechanisms and fora to foster better dialogue and create more resilient networks. The EU’s new instruments and capabilities make it a better partner in its pursuit of an enhanced security engagement in and with Asia.

He noted that that even as the EU looks for partners beyond the immediate borders of Europe, it has always considered the Philippines a key partner in Asia.

Officials and staff of the DFA, FSI, and the EU Delegation, as well as representatives from the academe, the defense sector, and other government agencies attended the Mabini Dialogue.

The Mabini Dialogue Series is a regular discussion forum offered by FSI for exchanges among experts on important national and international issues.

(From L-R) Myanmar Ambassador Win Naing, EU Ambassador Franz Jessen, DFA Office of European Affairs Executive Asst. Ma. Amelita Aquino, Deputy Secretary-General of the EEAS Dr. Pedro Serrano De Haro Soriano, and FSI Officer-in-Charge Ms. Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat, together with other members from the EU defence sector.