ASEM Summit: Meeting of 54 leaders from Asia and Europe gets under way in Brussels

he 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit kicks off this evening in Brussels, with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council President Donald Tusk representing the European Union.

They will be joined by EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen for a Summit of 51 countries from across Europe and Asia, in addition to the ASEAN Secretary General. Over two days and under the title “Global Partners for Global Challenges”, leaders will discuss how Europe and Asia can develop their partnership across the three pillars of ASEM: political; economic and financial; and social and cultural. President Juncker will address leaders tomorrow morning on the topic of reinforcing the multilateral system: advancing the ASEM partnership on global issues. One month after the Commission and the High Representative presented their proposal to strengthen connectivity between Europe and Asia, and a few days after EU Foreign Ministers adopted conclusions on the topic, ASEM leaders will look at ways of enhancing sustainable connectivity between the two regions, which together account for 55% of global trade, 60% of the world’s population, 65% of global GDP, and 75% of global tourism. Other topics for discussion include trade and investment, sustainable development and climate, and security challenges such as terrorism, non-proliferation, cyber security and irregular migration. A number of bilateral agreements are set to be signed in the margins of the ASEM Summit, including free trade, investment protection and partnership and cooperation agreements with Singapore, and an agreement on forest law enforcement, governance and trade with Vietnam. A press conference, including the participation of President Juncker, is foreseen for 15:30 on Friday and will be live on EbS. More information on the ASEM Summit is available on the website, in a factsheet and a brochure; more information on the trade and investment agreements with Singapore is available online. The ASEM Summit will be followed by the 9th EU-Republic of Korea Summit and an EU-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting (factsheet).