GEM PhD School

Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate

International Conference by Herman Van Rompuy

Thursday 30 April 2015 , 18:00 - 19:30

Wednesday, April 30th 2015

Université Libre de Bruxelles (Dupréel Room)


By Herman Van Rompuy

Former President of the European Council

Former Prime Minister of Belgium


The EU-Japan Relationship

Functioning & Future  of the EU’s Strategic Partnerships


 The EU and Japan have one of the most important trade relationships in the world. The EU-Japan relationship is also one of the oldest strategic partnership the EU has come to entertain with third parties. Launched in 1991, the political dialogue between both parties has led to them co-operating extensively in bilateral and multilateral contexts on a range of global governance issues. In continuation of this long-term and deep-seated partnership, the EU and Japan have confirmed the next EU-Japan Summit to be held in Tokyo on  May 29th 2015.


Nevertheless, the relationship is widely acknowledged to have significant untapped potential. Accordingly, Japan and the European Union launched formal negations towards the conclusion of a new partnership agreement covering both a free trade and political cooperation chapter. Formal negotiations started a little under two-years ago in May 2013 under the auspices of H. Van Rompuy, the then President of the European Council. Following 6 negotiation rounds, contacts between both parties have depend and the scope of their dialogue widened. If negotiations are still ongoing, the process itself has marked a new stage in the relationship between these two civilian powers. As such, EU-Japan negotiations are remarkable both because of the sheer size of the economies involved, as well as what their ongoing negotiations signify for the EU’s wider foreign policy agenda with regards to its Strategic Partnerships.


To explore some of these issues implicit in the EU-Japan Partnership, the organizers have seized upon the publication of an edited volume on “The European Union and Japan - A New Chapter in Civilian Power Cooperation?” to convene a series of expert and practitioners able to offer some valuable insights, either through their own experience or accomplished research. 

ULB (Salle Dupréel)
44, Avenue Jeanne
1050 Brussels