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ESIWA - Enhancing the European Union’s Security Cooperation In and With Asia
Supporting security dialogues with partner countries, promoting greater convergence in the field of security and increasing international awareness of the European Union as a security provider.



The project aims to enhance security cooperation with Asian partner countries and increase awareness of the European Union as a security provider.
  • €15m
  • 01/04/2020
  • 48 months

The European Union has a fundamental interest in cooperating with partners worldwide, in particular in and with Asia, to address shared security challenges, both in the region and elsewhere. The Indo-Pacific is of high strategic importance for the EU, as Europe’s security, prosperity and growth are closely intertwined with developments in the region.

In this context, the ESIWA project (Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia) has been developed to enhance the EU’s security and defence cooperation in and with Asia. It is funded by the European Union, the German Federal Foreign Office and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

ESIWA’s scope of action

ESIWA does not replace, but rather complements existing dialogues, consultations, outreach, exchange and cooperation with six Asian partner countries: India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.

In order to enhance the EU’s security and defence cooperation in and with Asia, the project has three key objectives:

• Supporting deeper and more operational security dialogues between the EU and partner countries.

Increasing operational cooperation and capacity building, thereby promoting greater convergence between the policies and practices of the EU and partner countries in the field of security.

Raising international awareness and acknowledgement of the EU as a security provider.

Concrete actions for security and defence

The project’s activities focus on four thematic areas:

• Counter Terrorism and Preventing/Countering of Violent Extremism (CT-P/CVE);
• Cybersecurity;
• Maritime Security;
• Crisis Management.

The status of women is a key issue for security and stability – gender equality will thus be an aspect of particular importance in the design, implementation and monitoring of project activities.

Project activities include:

Track 1.5 and track 2.0 policy dialogues
Supporting the organisation of joint activities involving EU institutions, agencies and Member States
Peer-to-peer exchanges and study tours
Multilateral cooperation with regional actors
Enhancing awareness about CSDP (the EU Common Security and Defence Policy) missions and operations
Tailor-made training and sharing lessons learned
Communication and outreach initiatives

Focus on Expertise France’s areas of operation

Expertise France is responsible for ESIWA’s cybersecurity and maritime security thematic areas while GIZ is responsible for ESIWA’s CT-P/CVE and crisis management thematic areas and leads on formal project reporting to the EU.



The EU’s international cybersecurity policy is designed to support international law and promote global cyber stability, as well as contributing to Europe’s strategic autonomy in cyberspace which refers to the capacity of the EU to act autonomously when and where necessary and with partners wherever possible. It is guided by the EU core values and fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, human rights, the protection of personal data, and the promotion of an open, free and secure cyberspace.

In the cybersecurity thematic area, ESIWA supports formal security dialogues by implementing joint activities with partner countries to share best practice and learn from each other. ESIWA addresses the ongoing debates with a relevant European perspective.

Activities include: supporting cooperation on critical information infrastructure protection (CIIP), responding to malicious cyber-attacks, facilitating tabletop exercises, and coordinating with international partners to promote stability in cyberspace.


Maritime security

The Global Strategy for the Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union highlights that, in Asia, the EU should contribute to upholding freedom of navigation and respect for international maritime law, encouraging the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes and supporting an ASEAN-led regional security architecture.

In its “Maritime security” thematic area, ESIWA supports the EU in identifying new concrete and operational opportunities for cooperation with Asian partners and regional organisations to better address maritime security issues. The ultimate goals are as follows:

• To promote a fair, transparent and rules-based maritime order
• To strengthen and support multilateral responses to maritime security threats and challenges
• To enhance the EU’s visibility as a maritime security provider.


Follow ESIWA on Twitter: @ESIWA_EU

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Visit the website of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the German international cooperation agency (GIZ)