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Europe Links To Asia

  • May 25th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

jogjakarta2-wikipedia.jpegHundreds of national representatives and other delegates are attending this week’s Asia-Europe Development Conference (24-25.5.10) at Jogjakarta – part of a development aid process being joined this year by Australia.

In the meantime on another page of the same book, a meeting of government leaders from the EU and ASEAN, was under way in  Madrid.
HEADING TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT

The European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, at the gathering, said a priority was being placed on education, as a way to achieving Millennium Development Goals, (and in a bi-lateral move, pledged EU200-million for education in Indonesia; A$299.38-million, dcerates.com, 25.5.10).

The European Commission says some 150 representatives from ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) partners – 27 EU Member States and 16 Asian countries, as well as representatives of the ASEAN secretariat, think tanks, international organisations and civil society are at the ASEM development conference, “Towards an Asia-Europe Partnership for Sustainable Development”, which it is co-hosting with the Indonesian government.

The gathering is part of a series of meetings in the lead-up to the ASEM8 (Asia-Europe Meeting) Summit of heads of government, in Belgium, in early October (4-5.10.10).

Australia and Russia are scheduled to formally join the ASEM process at that time.

Meetings of the forum this year have been set up to confer on several current issues, including ecological sustainability, counter-terrorism, piracy, investment and its financing, and human rights. l

WHAT IS THE ASEM?

EC background note on ASEM:

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is a forum for dialogue between Europe and Asia. Since its establishment in 1996 ASEM has been the main multilateral channel for communication between Asia and Europe, strengthening interaction and mutual understanding. As one of the four “coordinators” of ASEM, the European Commission is a key player in the ASEM process.

ASEM involves virtually the whole of Asia and Europe. The most recent, the 7th ASEM Summit in Beijing in October 2008, admitted six new members bringing the membership up to 45 partners, together representing half of the world’s GDP, almost 60% of the world’s population and over 60% of global trade. At the 8th ASEM Summit, taking place in Brussels on 4-5 October 2010, two more members will formally join the process – Australia and Russia.

The current ASEM partners are: Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, The Netherlands, The Philippines, United Kingdom, Viet Nam, the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Commission.

SOME WAY-AWAY, AT ASEAN

asean-dance.jpgThis week also, EU representatives were renewing regular exchanges with the ASEAN group of countries, known to range across a broad field — through development issues and trade, security concerns and climate change. (See also, EUAustralia Online, “EU focus on Asia”, 28.5.09).

The EC announced: Ministers from 37 countries – 27 from the European Union and the ten that form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – began meeting in Madrid on Wednesday (25.5.10) to commemorate the thirty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of a formal framework for relations between the two groups.

asean-flagsvg1.pngASEAN has ten members: the five founders (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand), plus five more that have joined over time, namely, Brunei (1984), Vietnam (1995), Laos and Burma (1997) and Cambodia (1999). Additionally, East Timor has applied for membership in the organisation, and Papua New Guinea has observer country status.

Reference

Delegation of the European Union to Australia, Canberra, home, 24.5.10. http://www.delaus.ec.europa.eu/, (25.5.10).

European Commission, Brussels. EU-ASEAN ministerial meeting …., 25.5.10. www.europa.eu, (25.5.10).

Pictures

Jogjakarta scene, Wikipedia.org; dancers at ASEAN (ec); ASEAN flag.

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