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The European Union in the Era of Trade Corridors

Preksha Shree Chhetri

The European Union, which is considered the most successful regional organization and is the largest trading bloc of the world, is at present faltering. The Sovereign Debt Crisis, the Brexit referendum in the UK and the perpetual policy related muddle amongst its members has been questioning the union’s credibility. Meanwhile, in Asia, China has been subtly marking its presence and is currently undertaking a large scale global infrastructural project called the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative which aims at integrating trade networks along the historical Silk Route in Europe and Asia. In this context, this paper attempts to answer the following question:Is shifting focus towards Asia and Central Asia Europe’s way forward ? China’s OBOR initiative is not very different from the EU’s own vision of integrating transportation networks in its eastern neighbourhood. In 1993 the EU had initiated a similar infrastructural project called Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) for the development of transport initiatives between the EU member states, Caucasus and Central Asian countries. Against this background, the main theme of the paper is to comprehend the prospects of the EU and China joining hands for strengthening economic corridors in the Eurasian region for economic stability.

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