Finding a path through a multi-headed interregional relationship
States are increasingly cooperating with each other in order to eradicate safe havens for criminals. Some States have gone further than others in creating regional systems in order to ensure a smooth flow of people in and out of the country and to ensure smooth cooperation between national authorities that have competence for criminal matters. While the EU is well known to be the most integrated system, ASEAN is in the early stages of an integration process and is still governed by traditional interstate relations. Taking into account their specificities, these two regional organisations have been the most active in facilitating interstate cooperation so far.
Given that criminal threats do not stay within regional boundaries just as they do not stay within national ones, an interregional dialogue has been initiated between the EU and ASEAN. In this context, the EU has sought to develop and safeguard its role as an independent and valuable actor in international relations and, more specifically, in interregional relations. In its own way, the EU aims to export its standards in the fight against transnational crime to the Southeast Asian region. With this purpose in mind, the EU must reflect on whether its strategy fits the specificities and needs of its interlocutors, namely the regional organisation and its Member States.