A Strategic Partnership

The EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have been committed dialogue partners since 1977 with the shared values and principles of a rules-based international order, effective and sustainable multilateralism, as well as free and fair trade. Together, the EU and ASEAN represent close to half a billion people and almost 25% of global economic power.

Following the 23rd EU-ASEAN Ministerial meeting on 1 December 2020, the EU and ASEAN agreed to elevate their relations to a strategic partnership with a commitment to regular summits at leader’s level and enhanced economic and security cooperation.

EU-ASEAN security cooperation currently covers maritime security, counterterrorism, and transnational crime. On 9 December 2020, the EU attended the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) for the first time as the Guest of the Chair.

At heart, the EU and ASEAN are “partners in integration” working together for multilateral solutions

Josep Borrell,

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice President of the European Commission

EU-ASEAN cooperation is aligned with the


Political and security cooperation

As a founding member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the EU is committed to increasing its cooperation with ASEAN on political and security issues. The growing number of visits and dialogue events reflects the mutual goal to increase regional security and stability.

Economic cooperation

The EU is working towards improving trade-related regulatory and policy frameworks, intellectual property rights, standards, customs and transport, and civil aviation. The ultimate objective is to accelerate regional economic integration and improve livelihoods in the ASEAN region.

Socio-cultural cooperation

EU cooperation addresses higher education, health, land use and forestry, disaster management and preparedness, biodiversity protection and the effective management of protected areas, sustainable urbanisation, sustainable agriculture, and improving labour conditions for migrant women.