ASEAN

The EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit: Advancing bilateral cooperation in challenging times

On 14 December 2022, the “EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit” took place in Brussels, celebrating 45 years of EU-ASEAN diplomatic relations. Alongside the Summit a number of other meetings were held, among which the “EU-ASEAN Business Summit” and the “EU-ASEAN Youth Summit”, both of which took place on 12 December 2022. Following the Summit, the EU and ASEAN are more committed than ever to actively promote enhanced engagement by strengthening their Strategic Partnership. They also agreed to expand their shared efforts on climate change mitigation, people-to-people connectivity and security in the Indo-Pacific.

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Southeast Asia’s Summit Season

In November 2022, Southeast Asia entered the centre of global attention as the region hosted an unprecedented group of major international summits: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Related Summits in Cambodia on 10-13 November, the Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders’ Summit in Indonesia on 15-16 November and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Thailand on 18-19 November. Yet, as the summit season gathered the world’s leaders to foster stronger international cooperation, the gatherings were dominated by soaring diplomatic tensions and the growing strategic polarisation, consequently putting Southeast Asia’s international leadership to the test.

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EIAS Lunch Meeting and Discussion With a Visiting Delegation from ASEAN

On 12 December 2022, a lunch meeting and discussion with a Visiting Delegation from ASEAN under the EU Visiting Programme (EUVP) was held at EIAS in Brussels. During the discussion thoughts and concerns were shared regarding EU-ASEAN relations, common challenges and potential solutions, as well as how to advance the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership. Especially the fields of trade, green transition, connectivity, youth cooperation, as well EU-ASEAN relations in the Indo-Pacific, ASEAN Centrality and Parliamentary cooperation were addressed.

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Unintended Consequences of Europe’s Fight Against Deforestation

As part of its flagship Green Deal, the European Parliament approved a proposal for a draft regulation on 13 September 2022 which mandates operators to prove that wood, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, cattle, soy, and its derivatives are ‘deforestation-free’ before they enter the EU market. Producing developing countries in Asia and beyond have strongly opposed the EU’s unilateral objectives due to its potential socio-economic consequences. The rather quick passing of the regulation and limited time for consideration of its impact on third countries may actually cause harm to already vulnerable communities.

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The 13th ASEM Summit (ASEM13) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) took place on 25-26 November 2021 via videoconference under the theme “strengthening multilateralism for shared growth”. ASEM has major untapped potential but remains a valuable platform for dialogue and the exchange of information for its members.

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