The EU has significantly increased its development cooperation funds for ASEAN for the period 2014-2020. More than €170 million has been earmarked to fund the ongoing and post-2015 ASEAN regional integration agenda — more than doubling the amount for 2007-2013. In addition, the EU has pledged over €3 billion to reduce poverty and address development gaps in low-income ASEAN countries.
Ongoing cooperation programmes cover a multitude of activities:
- The EU supports capacity building for regional economic integration in areas such as trade and transport, harmonisation of standards (ARISE), air transport (AATIP), monitoring and statistics (COMPASS), and the protection of intellectual property rights (ECAP III).
- For socio-cultural connectivity, the EU promotes regional integration in the field of higher education (SHARE), and contributes to strengthening the capacity of ASEAN's emergency management systems. This includes providing support to the ASEAN Coordination Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre) so it can achieve operational excellence in disaster monitoring and emergency response.
The EU also supports the ASEAN bodies in developing their human rights policies (READI Human Rights Facility).The cooperation agenda for 2014-2020 was agreed at the 21st EU-ASEAN JCC Meeting and focuses on three sectors:
1. Connectivity: sustainable and inclusive economic integration (€85 million/50 % of the funding)
- A key goal is to improve connectivity between the ASEAN Member States through sustainable, inclusive economic integration and trade. Special attention is paid to countries that most recently joined ASEAN — Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
- The cooperation agenda foresees enhanced dialogue and interactions on trade-related regulatory and policy frameworks, intellectual property, standards, customs and transport, civil aviation — and more (ARISE Plus).
- In 2015, a programme to support farmers' organisations (AFOSP) began work. In addition, a study facility to support the green economy and urban development in ASEAN will soon follow (the Asia Investment Facility).
2. Climate change, environment and disaster management (€60 million/37.5 %)
3. Comprehensive Dialogue Facility (€25 million/12.5 %): Improving the Comprehensive Policy Dialogue Facility — E-READI — will help ASEAN increase regional integration and reduce poverty.
- E-READI offers technical assistance and dialogue with the EU in multiple sectors:
- Human rights, maritime cooperation, peace and reconciliation, election observation, migration and mobility in the Security and Political pillar;
- Science and technology, ICT, energy, trade, agriculture and natural resources, forestry in the Economic pillar;
Climate change, environment, disaster management, education and youth, development goals, health and communicable diseases, food safety, culture and media, and tourism in the Socio-Cultural pillar.
More info: EuropeAid