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EU-Pakistan relations: European perspectives at the turn of the twenty-first century

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Abstract

The principle aim of this chapter is to analyse relations between the European Union (EU) and Pakistan and to present European approaches towards the growing influence of militancy in Pakistan. To understand European perceptions of Pakistan and South Asia, it is necessary to perceive the European vision of the international order as well as the nature and essence of Europe. Moreover, in outlining European perspectives towards Pakistan and towards countering militancy in this country, the authors make a comparative analysis of the respective approaches of the US and EU towards the ‘Pakistani challenge’. This leads to the conclusion that European and American perceptions of Pakistan differ due to different attitudes and approaches towards international order as a concept, as well as issues such as war, balance of power and the use of force. The European perspective places greater stress on soft power elements as the basis of Europe’s long-term strategy in Pakistan. This approach seems to gain particular momentum in light of the Pakistan General Elections of 2013. In order to strengthen its soft power elements the EU decided not only to deploy an election observation mission to monitor the elections on May 11th but also to reconfirm its commitment to deepening and widening its relations with Pakistan, with special focus on strengthening the process of democratic transition (EEAS 2013a, b). This should be interpreted as a tangible sign of the implementation of envisaged EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue as agreed on in June 2012 (EEAS 2012) “which forms the bedrock of deeper EU-Pakistan relations” (EEAS 2013b).

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Zajączkowski, J., & Wolf, S. O. (2014). EU-Pakistan relations: European perspectives at the turn of the twenty-first century. In The Merits of Regional Cooperation: The Case of South Asia (pp. 131–151). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02234-5_13

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