EU-ASIA Relations ASEM Summit — Factsheet

The eighth Asia-Europe Meet­ing will be held in Brus­sels on 4–5 Octo­ber 2010. The Euro­pean Union remains com­mit­ted to pur­su­ing its col­lab­o­ra­tion with Asia and to strength­en­ing its part­ner­ship with ASEM mem­ber coun­tries.

At the sum­mit, the EU will be rep­re­sent­ed by Her­man Van Rompuy, Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Coun­cil, and by José Manuel Bar­roso, Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Commission.

The over­ar­ch­ing theme of the sum­mit is how to ensure greater pros­per­i­ty and more dig­ni­ty for all cit­i­zens, in short, “Qual­i­ty of Life”. The oth­er very impor­tant sub­ject is advanc­ing on the path of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. EU-ASEM lead­ers will address this issue dur­ing their sec­ond session.

The work will start on Mon­day 4 Octo­ber with the sub­ject iden­ti­fied as pri­or­i­ty num­ber one, mov­ing towards more effec­tive glob­al finan­cial and eco­nom­ic gov­er­nance. A sep­a­rate dec­la­ra­tion enti­tled “Towards more effec­tive glob­al eco­nom­ic gov­er­nance” is expect­ed to be adopt­ed at the end of the summit.

Dur­ing the third ses­sion, EU-ASEM lead­ers will dis­cuss glob­al issues of great con­cern to their pop­u­la­tions. These include the fight against ter­ror­ism and orga­nized crime, the elim­i­na­tion of acts of pira­cy at sea and the rever­sal of the pro­lif­er­a­tion of weapons of mass destruc­tion and of their deliv­ery systems.

The fourth top­ic on the agen­da is region­al issues. Lead­ers will exchange views on the region­al coop­er­a­tion mech­a­nisms and inte­gra­tion efforts that take place in their respec­tive parts of the Eurasian con­ti­nent. They will also dis­cuss devel­op­ments and secu­ri­ty issues of con­cern to ASEM part­ners such as Iran, Afghanistan, Demo­c­ra­t­ic People’s Repub­lic of Korea, Myan­mar, or the Mid­dle East peace process.

ASEM 8 will also present an oppor­tu­ni­ty to fur­ther boost exchanges among Euro­pean and Asian civ­il soci­ety rep­re­sen­ta­tives and lead­ers. On the side­lines of the sum­mit, a par­lia­men­tary part­ner­ship meet­ing, a busi­ness forum, a people’s forum and a civ­il soci­ety event will take place. 

Final­ly, con­clu­sions are expect­ed to be adopt­ed from the expan­sion of ASEM from the orig­i­nal 26 founders to now 48 members. 


Asia-Europe Meet­ing is a forum for dia­logue between Europe and Asia which involves vir­tu­al­ly the whole of the two con­ti­nents. The 48 ASEM part­ners rep­re­sent half of the world’s GDP, almost 60% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion and 60% of glob­al trade. 

ASEM is open and inclu­sive – both inclu­sive of new mem­bers like Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Rus­sia this year; and inclu­sive of new issues for dis­cus­sion, such as one exam­ple at this year’s sum­mit, coop­er­a­tion against “pira­cy at sea.”

ASEM com­ple­ments and does not replace Europe’s bilat­er­al rela­tions and nego­ti­a­tions with Asian coun­tries. As one of the four ‘coor­di­na­tors’ of ASEM, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion under­pins the process. 

ASEM Dia­logue Facility

Euro 1 mil­lion per annum of EU funds sup­port the ASEM Dia­logue Facil­i­ty, which start­ed in 2008 to help the ASEM process in few pri­or­i­ty areas, orig­i­nal­ly four: eco­nom­ic and finan­cial mat­ters, employ­ment and social pol­i­cy, envi­ron­ment, cul­tur­al diver­si­ty and inter­cul­tur­al dia­logue. Addi­tion­al sec­tors have been added fol­low­ing the devel­op­ment of ASEM process such as devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion, infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy and mar­itime affairs. The Facil­i­ty funds con­fer­ences, stud­ies and vis­i­bil­i­ty actions. Its 3rd phase (2011–2012) will start in the com­ing weeks. 

Trans-Eura­sia Infor­ma­tion Network

One key achieve­ment of ASEM is the Trans-Eura­sia Infor­ma­tion Net­work (TEIN) the first large-scale research and edu­ca­tion net­work con­nect­ing region­al researchers in Asia and Europe. TEIN has become a tru­ly inte­gra­tive plat­form across Asia and Europe – going well beyond its ini­tial research and edu­ca­tion objec­tive. The third gen­er­a­tion of the TEIN (TEIN3) pro­vides a ded­i­cat­ed high-capac­i­ty Inter­net net­work for research and edu­ca­tion com­mu­ni­ties across Asia-Pacif­ic. TEIN3 already con­nects researchers and aca­d­e­mics in Chi­na, India, Indone­sia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pak­istan, the Philip­pines, Sin­ga­pore, Sri Lan­ka, Tai­wan, Thai­land, Viet­nam and Aus­tralia. Bangladesh, Bhutan and Cam­bo­dia are in the process of get­ting con­nect­ed, bring­ing the total num­ber of part­ners involved in TEIN3 to 19. TEIN4 will con­tin­ue the ser­vice of TEIN3 and will fos­ter the set­up of an Asian based TEIN organ­i­sa­tion that will ensure the sus­tain­abil­i­ty of the action. 

Asia-Europe Foun­da­tion

The Asia-Europe Foun­da­tion (ASEF) was estab­lished in Feb­ru­ary 1997, to pro­vide a forum for the non-gov­ern­men­tal dia­logue, becom­ing the only insti­tu­tion­al body of ASEM until today. Its mis­sion is to pro­mote mutu­al under­stand­ing, deep­er engage­ment and con­tin­u­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion among the peo­ples of Asia and Europe through greater intel­lec­tu­al, cul­tur­al, and peo­ple-to-peo­ple exchanges between the two regions. ASEF is gov­erned by an Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee with equal Asian and Euro­pean par­tic­i­pa­tion, and a Board of Gov­er­nors made up of all ASEM part­ners. ASEF’s tra­di­tion­al four areas of activ­i­ty are: (1) edu­ca­tion and aca­d­e­m­ic coop­er­a­tion, (2) arts and cul­ture, (3) inter­faith dia­logue and (4) human rights and gov­er­nance. A revised strat­e­gy paper was approved in May 2009 by the ASEF Board of Gov­er­nors adding anoth­er three areas of activ­i­ty i.e..: (5) econ­o­my and soci­ety, (6) envi­ron­ment and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and (7) pub­lic health. 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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