The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission adopted on Tuesday a joint communication entitled “The EU and ASEAN: A partnership with a strategic purpose” to scale up the European block’s partnership with ASEAN.
The joint communication puts forward concrete ideas for taking EU-ASEAN relations to the next level by providing a more coherent framework for sectoral cooperation and by ensuring a sharper political focus.
"The partnership between the EU and ASEAN is crucial and we are determined to build on it and strengthen our political and economic cooperation. From trade to security, from climate change to the rule of law, we have a deep cooperation and as the EU we are supporting ASEAN integration,” said Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and vice president of the European Commission, in a release on Wednesday.
“Deepening and broadening our relation with ASEAN is key for the EU’s Asia strategy,” she said.
Concrete proposals and commitments contained in the joint communication include taking trade relations with ASEAN to a different level and working toward an ambitious region-to-region free trade agreement (FTA) building on bilateral agreements between the EU and ASEAN member states.
The joint communication is also aimed at stepping up cooperation on connectivity by exchanging lessons learned and by mobilizing the financial means and expertise to support ASEAN efforts, including on the single market and through negotiating a civil aviation agreement.
Strengthening collaboration on climate change and initiating a new, dedicated EU-ASEAN policy dialogue on the environment and sustainable development are also points highlighted in the joint communication.
“It also aims to more than double EU financial support for ASEAN integration [to 170 million] which comes on top of the € 2 billion for ASEAN member states,” the EU said.
“It also aims to implement an extensive ‘package’ of new initiatives in the area of non-traditional security, such as maritime security, disaster management and crisis response, transnational crime, training courses on preventive diplomacy, crisis management, mediation, the rule of law and election observation,” it said.
The EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Brussels on July 23, 2014, welcomed the stepping up of EU-ASEAN relations and expressed the wish to upgrade them to a strategic partnership. (
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