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Comparing Means and Ends of International Development Cooperation: the Case of the EU's and China's Engagement in Sri Lanka

Thomas Henökl, Christian Webersik

As laid out in the 2003 'European Security Strategy and even more so with the new institutional setup under the Lisbon Treaty the EU clearly defined itself as a global actor, assuming responsibilities and promoting its economic and security interests beyond Europe: Nuclear risks, terrorism and organized crime are of global concern, and demand a coordinated, global response. With regard to Asia, this aspect was elaborated in more detail in the 2007 East Asia Policy Guidelines, updated in 2012 to broaden the EU's approach to East Asia to include trade and investment, energy security and international development assistance. While the agenda of the EU's common foreign and security policy has been dominated by the member states' engagement in Afghanistan, East Asia has crystallized as a strategic arena, decisive for stability, prosperity and peaceful coexistence. Asia has also become the hub of alliance politics to contain conflicts and to counter the dominance of its regional hegemon. While in Europe the EU provides an institutionalized, supra-national structure of multi-level governance, Asia has no equivalent 'superstructure' and no underlying canon of common values, giving bilateral structures more weight. This paper examines and compares China's and the EU's foreign policy pertinent to security and international development, with evidence from Sri Lanka, a country of strategic importance for both actors. Given its current relative stability following a long-lasting civil war, a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka is of strategic interest in terms of international security and economic development of the region.

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