ASEM Summit: Europe and Asia reaffirm shared partnership and engagement to a stronger recovery from the pandemic
During the 13th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Summit on 25-26 November which took place in virtual format from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, leaders reaffirmed their shared partnership and engagement in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the title ‘Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth', the Summit brought together Heads of State or Government of 30 European States and 20 Asian partners, the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and President of the European Council, Charles Michel, represented the European Union at the Summit. Leaders exchanged on global challenges and on a post-pandemic sustainable socio-economic recovery, to agree on ways to ensure a green recovery, and to reinforce cooperation on foreign and security policies.
In her opening speech, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, recently said:
“For more than 25 years, the Asia-Europe Meeting has been the most comprehensive partnership forum between Asia and Europe. It has helped us tackle some of the big challenges of the day. In the years to come, this partnership will be even more important to recover from the pandemic. Together, we need to rebuild a more sustainable and equitable world, and we need to strengthen multilateralism. Because Asia and Europe are closely connected and together, we have significant weight in the world.”
Following the COP26 in Glasgow, the ASEM Summit was the most important multilateral meeting in autumn 2021. The EU and its ASEM partners are highly interconnected, with many shared interests and solid ties, from trade and investments to research and development, as well as sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity protection and security. With its Indo-Pacific Strategy adopted in September 2021, the EU has reinforced its strategic focus, presence and actions in the region to contribute to regional stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development, at a time of rising challenges and tensions in the region.
EU-Asia connectivity remain a major focus of the EU. In her speech, the President announced that the Commission will soon present the 'Global Gateway' strategy. It will build on the 2018 EU-Asia connectivity strategy updating it to the current context, notably with a global scope and more clearly defined financing tools from the EU.
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