The EU and ASEAN are long standing partners, with shared values, principles and outlook on rules-based international order and effective multilateralism. The elevation to a Strategic Partnership in 2020 marked a new chapter in EU-ASEAN relations. A Commemorative Summit will be organised in Brussels later this year, to celebrate 45 years since the establishment of Dialogue Relations.
In April 2021, the EU launched its Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific to step up its engagement on strategic and security issues with partners in the region. The strategy is aligned with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the principle of ASEAN centrality.
During the ASEAN-EU Senior Officials Meeting on 8 July 2021, the EU reiterated its support towards the centrality of ASEAN and the multilateral anchor it provides. The two sides also discussed how to further strengthen EUASEAN cooperation, in a number of areas, ranging from trade, investment and connectivity, to sustainable development, security issues and responding to global challenges. Discussions also highlighted the EU’s longstanding support for the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are enshrined in the ASEAN Charter.
The meeting was co-chaired by Second Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, Stanley Loh and Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific in the European External Action Service. It was also attended by officials from all ASEAN and EU Member States, as well as representatives from the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat.