College meeting: EU steps up its strategy for connecting Europe and Asia

The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy today adopted aJoint Communication that sets out the EU’s vision for a new and comprehensive strategy to better connect Europe and Asia.

The Joint Communication builds on the European Union’s own experience of enhancing connections between its Member States, with and in other regions. With sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based connectivity at its core, the Communication will help to guide the EU’s external action in this field and is a part of the implementation of its Global Strategy. The EU will combine a principled approach to connectivity and recognition that Asia encompasses different regions, which are home to very diverse countries in terms of economic models and level of development, with concrete action based on three strands: creating transport links, energy and digital networks and human connections; offering connectivity partnerships to countries in Asia and organisations; and promoting sustainable finance through utilising diverse financial tools. The aim is to better connect Europe and Asia through physical and non-physical networks so as to strengthen the resilience of societies and regions, facilitate trade, promote the rules-based international order, and create avenues for a more sustainable, low-carbon future. This Joint Communication will inform the EU’s engagement with its partners from the neighbourhood to the Pacific, bringing benefits for the people of Europe and those countries who see the value of our approach to connectivity. The Joint Communication adopted today will now be discussed in the European Parliament and the Council, and will contribute to discussions on connectivity at the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, to be held in Brussels on 18-19 October. A full press release, including statements of High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini, Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, and Commissioners Neven Mimica and Violeta Bulc is available online, as are a memo explaining the EU’s approach to connecting Europe and Asia, a factsheet on the strategy, and theJoint Communication itself.