EU-ASEAN cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic

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. On 20 March 2020, ministers from the EU and ASEAN conducted a video conference to discuss cooperation in keeping supply chains open and advancing scientific research.

Team Europe has also provided over €800 million to assist ASEAN in its response to the coronavirus which includes support to health facilities and health workers, provisions of personal protective equipment and sanitizers, as well as technical assistance and institutional support.

On 8 December 2020, the 1st EU-ASEAN Experts’ Dialogue on COVID-19 vaccines further confirmed the shared interest of the EU and ASEAN to facilitate affordable, fair and equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The two regions have also agreed to the exchange of best practices among leading policy practitioners and medical experts on vaccine authorisation and production.

Team Europe also contributes to the financing of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, a global initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to everyone including citizens of ASEAN. The initial contribution was doubled on 19 February 2021, making Team Europe one of the lead donors to COVAX providing over EUR 2.2 billion in funding.

We are in a race against the virus and COVAX is our best hope that all our
partners have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The EU has been leading efforts in international fora, such as the G20 and G7, to guarantee that collectively we ensure that COVID-19 vaccines become a global public good..

Jutta Urpilainen,

EU Commissioner for International Partnerships

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