EU seeks deeper Indo-Pacific partnerships

The European Union has signaled an intent to work with the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen supply chains for strategically important materials.

That message comes as representatives from more than 50 countries and organizations gathered in Sweden for the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum on Saturday.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in opening remarks that he hopes the EU and the Indo-Pacific will be more interconnected and interdependent. He described the Indo-Pacific as Europe's "economic neighbor."

He said he expects the EU to deepen partnerships with the region, amid heightened alarm in the EU over excessive dependence on China for critical materials.

The representatives also reportedly discussed cooperation on measures against climate change and for energy security and to protect the security environment in the Indo-Pacific.

Borrell told reporters after the meeting that as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, the relationship between the EU and the Indo-Pacific "reflects new reality, maybe the feeling that the world needs more cooperation to face this challenging situation."