On 6 June, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell explained in his blog the main reason for his visit was to signal EU engagement with the Indo-Pacific region. He highlighted that the EU is not anti-palm oil. Instead, the EU wants to step up its engagement and work with partners to boost trade and investment, economic openness and a sustainable approach to connectivity. The EU is also ready to do more on strategic and security issues, in particular maritime security.
Read more on the blog.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union and its Member States have concluded the negotiations on the ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA) at the Extraordinary ASEAN-EU Senior Transport Officials Meeting held virtually on 2 June 2021. CATA is the world’s first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement. Under the agreement, airlines of ASEAN and the EU will have greater opportunities to operate passenger and cargo services between and beyond both regions. Airlines of ASEAN and the EU will be able to fly any number of services between both regions. In addition, airlines will be able to fly up to 14 weekly passenger services, and any number of cargo services via and beyond to any third country.
On 3 June, the HRVP Borrell was invited to speak at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta to set out the EU’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region through its recently concluded cooperation strategy.
Read the fully transcribed speech here.
On 3 June 2021, HRVP Josep Borrell addressed the ambassadors of ASEAN member states through its Committee of Permanent Representatives meeting in Jakarta. HRVP emphasised the need to tighten cooperation between the EU and ASEAN in areas such as the green agenda, connectivity through the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and increasing the EU’s maritime presence in the region.
Read his interventions in the meeting here.
On 2 June, HRVP discussed bilateral relations, Indo-Pacific cooperation and regional and global affairs with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi. He stressed that there is not a ban on palm oil imports in Europe, only a problem of sustainability the EU and its partners should try to solve.
Read his remarks here.