Europe-Asia Security and Trade Network (EAST)

The Jean Monnet Erasmus+ Network on Europe-Asia Security and Trade (EAST) brings together an international, interdisciplinary network of experts from seven universities and research institutes across Australia, Europe and Asia with more partners in North America. It is funded by the European Union.
Europe-Asia Security and Trade Network (EAST)


The project brings together senior scholars, early career researchers and think-tankers from three continents to provide incisive and systematic analysis of the relations between the European Union (EU) and the Asia-Pacific – a key relationship in the context of turbulent times for global governance. Against the background of the withdrawal of the United States from important global governance regimes, the prospect of a rise in protectionism and the increasing instability of a multipolar world, the European Union and Asian powers have emerged as the strongest advocates of a globalisation and multilateralism. Both the EU and countries in the Asia-Pacific region share a common interest in regional and global stability, providing the conditions for further growth in bilateral trade, investment and security cooperation.

At the same time, this relationships are characterised by frequent tensions on issues such as market access, intellectual property rights, norms, including human rights, and takes place against as deeper disagreements on principles of state sovereignty and the normative underpinnings of global governance. The EU-Asia Pacific relationship is therefore both crucial and fragile, and the purpose of the project is to identify obstacles and drivers towards closer cooperation, instances of shared perceptions and opportunities for common action.

Outcomes / activities

The EAST network features activities in Australia, Europe and Asia. It will result in the publication of two edited volumes. The volume on trade relations is edited by Johan Adriaensen (Maastricht) and Evgeny Postnikov (Melbourne). The volume on security relations is edited by Thomas Christiansen (LUISS Rome), See Seng Tan (RSIS) and Emil Kirchner (Essex). Beyond these academic activities, the involvement of the policy-community is integral to the project: policy-makers and other stakeholders have been, and will continue to be, invited to every event organised by the Network, to engender a two-way exchange between researchers and practitioners. The network will also benefit from the fact that leading think tanks in Europe (IAI and SWP) and Asia (RSIS) have joined together with academic institutions, thereby bringing in their expertise in relating to the policy-community, and their rich networks that can be utilised in disseminating the findings of the project.

The University of Melbourne has run a major workshop on EU-Asia trade in early 2020. The University’s academics Professor Philomena Murray, Dr Evgeny Postkinov, Dr Margherita Matera and Professor Leslie Holmes are all authors of chapters and conference papers for the two edited books. This workshop was the last one in the series that included earlier workshops at SWP Berlin and RSIS Singapore that focused on both security and trade relations.


Public Forum and International Workshop on EU-Asia Relations at the University of Melbourne involving international and Melbourne-based speakers. Additional events, such as the PhD school, are also planned together with other teaching-related activities to promote a better understanding of the EU’s engagement with Asia Pacific across the global academic and practitioner networks.

More information

Visit the EAST website

Project details


Maastricht University, The Netherlands
University of Melbourne
University of Essex, England
Instituto Affari Internazionali, Rome
Stiftung Wissenschaft & Politik, Berlin
Korea University, Seoul
R. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore

Project team

Professor Thomas Christiansen
Professor Emil Kirchner
Professor Han Dorussen
Dr Johan Adriaensen
Professor Philomena Murray
Dr Evgeny Postnikov
Dr Nicola Casarini
Dr Nathalie Tocci
Dr Hanns-G√ľnther Hilpert
Dr Felix Heiduk
Professor Pascal Venesson
Dr Raphael Bossong
Professor Kim Nam-Kook
Professor Park Sung-Hoon
Professor See Deng Tan


Professor Philomena Murray
Dr Evgeny Postnikov