Asia matters – for Europe. And Europe matters – for Asia. It is with this simple premise in mind that the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was created in 1996 and why it has since become a key forum for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia, with an ever-growing number of partners involved. ASEM currently has 53 partners (more than double from the original 26 in 1996) and is representing nearly 60% of the world’s GDP and more than 60% of the world’s population.
ASEM will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2016 at a summit held in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. As the hosts and chair of the last, 10th ASEM Summit in Milan in October 2014, as well as the ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Luxembourg in November 2015 which will pave the way to the 2016 Summit, the European Union and its Member States have a special responsibility in moving the ASEM process forward and thus further contributing to strengthened cooperation between Europe and Asia. ASEM provides a unique platform to bring Europe and Asia closer together on a number of issues of global importance, be it revival of economic growth worldwide, climate change, or the post-2015 development agenda.