The Lisbon Treaty enacted in 2009 allows the European Union (EU) to adopt a foreign, security, and defense policy with a higher profile. In particular, the High Representative and the European External Action Service are now in a position to conduct a continuous conversation with China,
India, Japan, and ASEAN beyond trade-oriented dialogues. But a genuine strategic approach toward Asia requires military expertise so as to adequately assess how to best contribute to stability in this part of the world. Military diplomacy involving individual member states already takes place,
yet virtually no information is shared at the EU level. The adoption of a full-fledged strategic approach toward Asia would not only be politically astute and make excellent economic sense; it can also consolidate EU institutions in the realm of foreign, security and defense policy.