Schuman Security and Defence Forum 2024: In Our Interconnected World, There is No ‘Faraway’

©European Union, 2023 Photo by Y. Shimazu
Jean-Eric Paquet, Ambassador of the European Union to Japan

The European Union and Japan have been strengthening their security and defense cooperation. Ahead of the EU’s Schuman Security and Defence Forum in Brussels, in which Japan was to participate as a partner country, EU Ambassador to Japan Jean-Eric Paquet contributed the following piece to The Japan News.


Today’s world is becoming increasingly dangerous. Power politics is back, and international relations are becoming more multipolar and less multilateral, even as we witness new threats emerging in new domains such as AI, cyber and even the weaponization of migration and security threats emanating from climate change.

In our interconnected world, geographical silos no longer exist; there is no “faraway.” We can never “normalize” aggression or intimidation, whether we live in Europe, the Indo-Pacific or anywhere else. Stability across the Taiwan Strait; freedom of navigation through the South China Sea; North Korean missile launches — these are not “just” Asian security issues. They are global security issues, and they concern Europeans as much as what is happening in Ukraine.

This year’s Schuman Security and Defence Forum, scheduled for May 28-29 in Brussels, brings together senior decision-makers and military representatives from European Union member states and more than 60 partner countries. For two days, officials and experts are rolling up their sleeves and getting to the core of the most urgent issues of global peace and security.

We warmly welcome Japan’s participation, especially at a moment when our security and defense cooperation is closer than ever. The EU and Japan remain resolute in our support of Ukraine and our opposition to Russia’s brutal, unprovoked and illegal war of aggression. We condemn North Korea’s continued defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Together, we seek peace and stability in the Middle East, as well as throughout the Indo-Pacific, in particular through compliance by all parties with the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In that context, the EU’s anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia, Atalanta, has conducted several naval exercises with its Japanese, Indian and South Korean partners.

The EU wants to increase engagement with, listen to, and learn from its partners. Recognizing the importance of further EU-Japan cooperation in view of unprecedented challenges to peace and security, we have established a Strategic Dialogue at the foreign ministerial level. We are also developing further our security partnership, which will promote increased cooperation in areas including maritime security, cybersecurity, hybrid threats including foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI), counter-terrorism, disarmament, non-proliferation, and international peace cooperation.

In order to further our mutual interest and vision in fostering a partnership in peace, security and defense issues, we look forward to fruitful discussions among Schuman Forum participants including Japan, contributing to a safer and more secure world for all.