By the EU Ambassador to ASEAN

Sujiro Seam
EU Ambassador to ASEAN

It is a great honour for me to introduce the EU-ASEAN Blue Book 2024-2025, marking the 47th year of EU-ASEAN relations. In this eighth edition of the Blue Book, we highlight the tangible impact of our cooperation on the lives of citizens in both our regions.

The EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit held in December 2022 to celebrate the 45th anniversary of EU-ASEAN relations marked a key moment in our cooperation. It followed the establishment of the 2023-2027 Plan of Action to implement the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, which was adopted at the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference (PMC) +1 in August 2022. The four-year plan reiterates the commitment of both the EU and ASEAN to further strengthen our partnership across multiple areas, including political and security, economic and sociocultural cooperation.

The Summit also marked the EU’s growing ambition to boost smart and sustainable investments in quality infrastructure through the Global Gateway. The strategy prioritises key areas such as digitalisation, energy and climate, transport and health, as well as education and research, which all align with priorities and plans in the ASEAN region. Through this strategy, the EU and Team Europe remain steadfast in their commitment to cooperate with ASEAN, supporting flagship initiatives on the green transition and sustainable connectivity, in the region and between the EU and ASEAN.

On 2 February 2024, the 24th EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting was organised in Brussels, co-chaired by the EU High Representative, H.E. Josep Borrell Fontelles, and the Philippines’ Secretary for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Enrique Manalo. Just over a year since the Commemorative Summit, the EU and ASEAN confirmed the importance of strategic partnership and of championing multilateralism and international law.

The EU-ASEAN Blue Book serves as a testament to the enduring strength and vitality of our strategic partnership. It is a testament to the belief that when like-minded regions come together, they can address global challenges with innovative solutions and shared values. I hope that the stories presented here will offer a glimpse into the potential we have to achieve great things together. The Blue Book provides an insightful and comprehensive overview of the multifaceted relationship between ASEAN and the EU.

I commend the dedication of government counterparts and cooperation partners from both the EU and ASEAN, including representatives from academia, the private sector, civil society and experts who have contributed to the preparation of this Blue Book through projects that the EU proudly supports. Let the EU-ASEAN Blue Book 2024-2025 serve as a source of inspiration and information for all those who seek to understand, support and contribute to the partnership between our remarkable regions. May it foster a deeper appreciation of the possibilities that arise when nations join hands in pursuit of common goals.