Political and security cooperation between the EU and ASEAN is built upon 44 years of robust partnership. Confirmation of the strategic nature of the EU-ASEAN partnership serves as an impetus to increase engagement at the leaders’ level both on traditional and non-traditional security matters.
At the 23rd EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in 2020, the EU and ASEAN elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership.
The strategic partnership further enhances cooperation between the two regions across a multitude of sectors based on shared values and common interests. The partnership will enhance prosperity through sustainable finance, fiscal and financial stability, promotion of circular economy and job creation in the growingly interconnected world.
Enhanced cooperation in the security sector will encompass cybersecurity, maritime security, partnership in the fight against transnational crime and counter-terrorism to preserve peace and stability in both regions. ASEAN’s centrality in the regional architecture as a key provider of security, stability, and growth in the region continues to be a priority for the EU and its Member States. To further support and enhance regional cooperation in the prevention and tackling of transnational crime, Italy organised an initial high-level seminar for law enforcement heads across ASEAN and the ASEAN Chiefs of National Police (ASEANAPOL). France who has been an observer member of ASEANAPOL since 2019 is also committed to provide continuous support to ASEAN’s fight against transnational crime and in building the capacity for peacekeeping operations and improving cyber security.
In a Joint Ministerial Statement on Connectivity on 1 December 2020, foreign ministers of EU and ASEAN Member States recognised the importance of connectivity between and within the two regions. Josep Borell, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation to address shared global and regional challenges. The ministers also outlined the ambition and commitment of both regions to establish a connectivity partnership and develop synergies between the EU’s Connecting Europe and Asia strategy and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025. Discussions on practical cooperation include the promotion of digital innovation, sustainable infrastructure, seamless logistics, regulatory excellence and people mobility.
At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the EU and ASEAN recognised the need to take a multilateral approach to mitigate the social and economic impact of COVID-19 in both regions. read more
Inter-regional security and defence cooperation between the EU and ASEAN are evident in the active participation of the EU in the ASEAN-led regional security architecture, including in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) and the East Asia Summit. read more