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The recent interest shown by the European Union towards the countries in South-East Asia, as well as the initiatives for setting up free trade areas in the region, come to confirm the uneasiness that portrays the situation at home, as well as the efforts that it set out to make in order to maintain its competitiveness on a global scale. Particularly, the attention that the EU has given to bi-regional cooperation, initiating talks for a free trade area with ASEAN, rather than with its member countries, strengthens the belief that the EU is currently seeking to consolidate its position in South-East Asia and to counter the increasing influence of China and Japan.
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