One of the main pillars of the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership is enhanced security cooperation. On 1 – 4 June 2021, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borell, visited Indonesia and the ASEAN Secretariat. During his visit, the High Representative met with ASEAN Secretary- General, Lim Jock Hoi and the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives to discuss how to further the EUASEAN Strategic Partnership, through concrete actions, in order to address shared challenges faced by the two regions.
The High Representative reiterated the EU’s commitment to supporting ASEAN regional architecture, including ensuring the EU’s active engagement in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ‘The key point to make here is that economic growth of this region rests on openness, on stable and shared rules, and shared security’, he said.
In 2021, the European Union Council adopted a new financial tool, the ‘Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe’ (NDICI – Global Europe). The NDICI – Global Europe is one main EU tool to contribute to eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development, prosperity, peace and stability. It aims to improve the effectiveness and visibility of the EU’s external policies, strengthen the EU’s coordination with internal policies and provide the EU with the necessary flexibility to provide a faster response to new crises and security challenges.
The EU Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence (CoE) initiative aims at strengthening regional security and safety. In a voluntary and demand-driven approach, it provides technical support and facilitates knowledge sharing to respond to the needs identified by partner countries. Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBRN CoE initiative has focussed more on biosafety and biosecurity and organised 17 webinars on the health emergency to facilitate the exchange of experience and good practices among partner countries in South-East Asia and between them and other regions, including Europe.