Brussels, 26 November 2021 (TDI): At this year’s Asia-Europe (ASEM) summit, Europe and Asia reaffirmed their partnership and engagement to a stronger recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
13th Asia-Europe Summit took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 25-26 November, where leaders renewed their partnership and engagement in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heads Of State or Government of 30 European States and 20 Asian Partners attended the Summit, entitled “Strengthening Multilateralism to Shared Growth”. It also included the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, as well as Charles Michel, President of the European Council, represented the European Union at the Summit. Leaders met to discuss international issues and post-pandemic sustained socio-economic recovery. They also discussed ways of strengthening cooperation on foreign and security policies.
Ursula von der Leyen Remarks
Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, began her speech by stating, “For over 25 years, the Asia-Europe Meeting has been the most comprehensive partnership forum between Asia and Europe. It has helped us tackle some of the enormous challenges of the day. In the years to come, this partnership will be even more important to recover from the pandemic. Together, we need to rebuild a more sustainable and fair world, and we need to strengthen multilateralism. Because of the close connection and togetherness of Asia and Europe, we have significant weight in the world.”
Following the COP26 in Glasgow, the ASEM Summit was the most important multilateral meeting in autumn 2021. The EU and its ASEM partners are highly interconnected. They have many common interests and strong ties. This includes trade and investment, as well as research and developing and sustainable development.
The Indo-Pacific Strategy, which was developed in response to increasing tensions in the region, EU adopted the challenges it faced in September 2021. This has allowed the EU to expand its strategic focus, presence, and actions in this region.
EU-Asia connectivity is still a central focus of the EU. In her speech, Ursula stated that the Commission will soon present the Global Gateway Strategy. It will build on the 2018 EU-Asia connectivity strategy and update it to fit the current context.
After previous postponements because of COVID-19 pandemics caused by the epidemics, the 13th ASEM was finally organized. On 18-19 October 2018, the 12th ASEM Summit took place in Brussels. ASEM, which was established in 1996, is an informal platform that promotes political dialogue and collaboration. It has 51 partner countries as well as two organizational partners, the EU and ASEAN.