In recent years, the maritime domain has emerged as one of the key areas of EU-Indian engagement. Rising competition in the maritime domain has pushed many actors to critically rethink their policies with respect to the security and governance of the high seas. In the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) China’s Maritime Silk Road (MSR), as part of the broader Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has been central to this growing sense of competition. Potentially conflicting connectivity approaches that cut across geographical boundaries and regional economic spaces are the result of this changing dynamic in the maritime domain.
Security co-operation with relevant maritime actors can strengthen the EU’s profile as a promising and reliable security actor in the region.
Amidst growing strategic competition, the EU and India are exploring various options to not only strengthen their co-operation around tackling security challenges in the region, but also to take the relationship forward based on mutually shared norms on connectivity. Against this backdrop, this policy brief seeks to analyse how the evolving policy approaches of the EU and India with regard to connectivity in the IOR affect potential maritime co-operation and initiatives, and which potential avenues for economic and security co-operation open up in this changed policy context.