EU seeks closer collaboration with ASEAN countries

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  • Olaf Scholz

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EU-ASEAN Summit EU seeks closer collaboration with ASEAN countries

Federal Chancellor Scholz was positive in his assessment of the EU-ASEAN Summit: "We have a lot in common with our ASEAN partners," he said. That is why, he added, the partnership was to be consolidated and collaboration intensified in such areas as climate protection and security.

Photo shows Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Putin's incursion into Ukraine clearly violates the rules we have all agreed on, said Federal Chancellor Scholz in Brussels. 

Photo: Federal Government/Kugler

The European Union had invited its partners from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to an anniversary summit in Brussels to mark 45 years of relations. The 27 EU heads of state and government exchanged views with their ASEAN counterparts from Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. There are currently no plans for Myanmar's participation.

The EU and ASEAN share many links

The EU is seeking to increase collaboration with ASEAN, as there is much that unites them including a mutual belief in the indispensability of fair multilateralism, the conviction that international relations must be based on international law and, of course, the full validity of the United Nations Charter, which applies to everyone, everywhere. "The EU and ASEAN states have once again confirmed this in unequivocal terms here in Brussels today," said Scholz.

The EU wants to adopt a much broader position

Russia, he said, had called these principles into question through its atrocious invasion of Ukraine and the entire world had to draw the consequences. The EU, he continued, was working very hard to diversify its foreign and economic relations, i.e., to position itself more broadly.

The Federal Chancellor is pushing for "rapid progress in the free trade agreement negotiations between the European Union and Indonesia and to conclude a free trade agreement between the EU and ASEAN in the longer term,” he said: "This will facilitate trade and improve collaboration between our countries."

Supporting climate-friendly energy supply transition

Planning also provides for closer collaboration on climate protection and diversity as well as security. For example, negotiations with Vietnam on a Just Energy Transition Partnership have been concluded successfully. A similar partnership had previously been agreed with Indonesia. "Thus," said the Federal Chancellor, "we are both supporting the climate-friendly energy supply transition and achieving an important milestone towards an accelerated, equitable global energy transition.”

The EU and ASEAN became strategic partners in 2020. For more on ASEAN and its relations with the EU, please see the Q&A section. 

Deliberations in the European Council

Following the EU-ASEAN Summit, the European Council meeting will start on Thursday morning in Brussels. Discussions will focus in particular on the many dimensions of the Russian offensive in Ukraine such as how the EU can support Ukraine to make it through the winter. Please click on the following link for more information on the European Council.