Delegation of the European Union to ASEAN

EU and ASEAN celebrate growing partnership

Virtual, 07/05/2021 - 14:36, UNIQUE ID: 210507_26
Press releases

The Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Mr Dato Lim Jock Hoi, and the EU Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Mr Igor Driesmans, launched the annual cooperation report, the “EU-ASEAN Blue Book 2021” via video conference on Friday, 7 May 2021. Also present at the launch was H.E. Ms Kok Li Peng, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to ASEAN and Country Coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations.

EU and ASEAN celebrate growing partnership

 

The Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Mr Dato Lim Jock Hoi, and the EU Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Mr Igor Driesmans, launched the annual cooperation report, the “EU-ASEAN Blue Book 2021” via video conference on Friday, 7 May 2021. Also present at the launch was H.E. Ms Kok Li Peng, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to ASEAN and Country Coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations. The EU-ASEAN Blue Book 2021 captures the growing EU-ASEAN partnership in the following areas of cooperation: political and security, economic, and socio-cultural. It also focuses on efforts in advancing green growth and addressing the global challenge of climate change.

“This year, we celebrate the 44th year of EU-ASEAN partnership. This sixth edition of the EU-ASEAN Blue Book demonstrates the resilience, the importance, and the relevance of our partnership in the new global context but also for the lives of our citizens,” said H.E. Igor Driesmans, EU Ambassador to ASEAN.

“As the world’s two most important and successful regional organisations, the ASEAN-EU relationship has witnessed a significant growth in its multifaceted cooperation, as guided by the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action,” said H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, the Secretary-General of ASEAN.

“The Blue Book has served as a useful repository of the wide array of ASEAN-EU cooperation projects over the years.  Its name is also particularly fitting as blue is a common colour of both the EU and ASEAN flags. For ASEAN, the blue represents peace and stability, which I believe is a shared priority for both our regions”, said H.E. Kok Li Peng, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to ASEAN.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the need for increased cooperation and solidarity. The EU and its Member States’ joint efforts, ‘Team Europe’, have dedicated EUR 800 million to support ASEAN’s pandemic response and recovery efforts. Team Europe is also currently the second largest contributor to the COVAX Facility with EUR 2.2 billion to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all.

Other recent highlights of EU-ASEAN cooperation include:

  • The launch of the ASEAN Customs Transit System by ASEAN and EU flagship cooperation programme, ARISE Plus, to facilitate cross-border trade.
  • Adoption of a cooperation framework for the ASEAN Network for Combatting Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing during the 42nd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry with the EU’s Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI) facilitating the two preceding dialogues.
  • In the near future: kick off support for Smart Green ASEAN Cities and continuation of the joint work towards an ASEAN brand scholarship scheme.
  • The launch of ASEAN-wide operational guidelines for the aviation industry by ARISE Plus.
  • Support to the Safe and Fair programme to ensure services to women migrant workers remain accessible during the pandemic.
  • The extension of the EU Support to Higher Education in ASEAN Region (SHARE) programme to support intra-ASEAN student mobility and harmonization of ASEAN higher education.

 

The EU-ASEAN Blue Book 2021 is available HERE