Thank you for your interest in the work of the European Union (EU) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
For over 40 years now, the EU and ASEAN have engaged in a political and economic relationship based on trust, mutual respect, common interests and values.
As the two major regional integration processes in the world, the EU and ASEAN are natural partners and it is no wonder that our cooperation has flourished so strongly. The EU and ASEAN share the same goals for their citizens: peace, prosperity and stability.
As stated recently (June 2015) by the Council of the EU: "The EU has a genuine strategic interest in strengthening its relationship with ASEAN, the major contributor for stability in the Asia-Pacific region. A strong and cohesive ASEAN proceeding with its own integration is beneficial for regional prosperity, stability and security, and creates new opportunities for cooperation on regional and global challenges".
As ASEAN's second largest trade partner and ASEAN's biggest investor, the EU supports ASEAN in its integration efforts and the establishment of a single market by the end of 2015 and beyond. With a growing middle class and a demographically young population, there are huge investment opportunities for stakeholders both in the EU and in ASEAN.
In 2012, the 19th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting agreed on the Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action to Strengthen the ASEAN-EU Enhanced Partnership (2013-2017). The Plan of Action aims at giving a more strategic focus to regional cooperation in a wide range of areas such as political, security, economic, trade and sociocultural.
In May 2015, the HRVP/ European Commission Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU was adopted. This policy document puts forward concrete ideas for upgrading and enhancing EU-ASEAN relations by providing a more coherent framework for sectoral cooperation and by ensuring a sharper political focus.
The EU has increased significantly its budget to step up to its engagement. For the period 2014-2020, over €170 million has been earmarked to fund ongoing and post-2015 ASEAN regional integration agenda, with an increase of €100 million compared to the period 2007-2013. To date, the EU is the biggest contributor to the ASEAN Secretariat and a major development partner of ASEAN.
In 2015 the EU established its Mission to ASEAN; the appointment of a dedicated EU Ambassador to ASEAN and the opening of an EU Mission to ASEAN on 8 August 2015 reflect the EU's growing engagement with ASEAN.
This website provides you with information on EU-ASEAN relations and cooperation. For information on EU's bilateral relations with the individual ASEAN Member States, please refer to the websites of the respective EU Delegations (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam).
Please feel free to write to us via email. Your comments, questions or suggestions are warmly welcome.
EU Ambassador to ASEAN
Read more about Ambassador Francisco Fontan