Sommaire: 23 October 2008, Brussels - The 7th ASEM Summit will be held in Beijing on 24-25 October 2008. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, Heads of State or Government from 43 Asian and European ASEM countries, as well as the Secretary-General of ASEAN will attend the meeting which takes place every two years. The overarching theme of the Summit is "Vision and Action: Towards a Win Win Solution" and will discuss global challenges directly affecting the citizens of both regions.
Prior to the Summit, President Barroso said: "Global challenges demand a global solution - ASEM has become the major forum for the EU and Asia to look into ways of addressing questions like global financial stability, climate change, energy security and social cohesion and it allows us to join forces on the international arena."
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations added: "ASEM has proven to be an indispensable complement to the bilateral and regional ties that have grown steadily in the past years. I expect that the Beijing Summit will consolidate that role, deciding on a full Work Programme for the next two years. Our joint interests cover a wide array of issues ranging, from financial matters, social affairs, development cooperation to energy security. At the same time the Summit should also discuss how we can raise the profile of ASEM to better reflect the quality and reach of its dialogue."
The Summit is expected to adopt a Declaration on Sustainable Development focussing on the Millennium Development Goals, energy security, climate change, and social cohesion.
Leaders will discuss the current world economic outlook, as well as turning their attention to other global issues (disaster relief, food security and safety), international and regional developments (including counter-terrorism, nuclear disarmament, Burma/Myanmar, the Korean Peninsular), trade and investment, and cultural and social dialogue.
The launch of the third phase of the EC-funded Trans-Eurasian Information Network (TEIN3) is to be announced at the Summit. This network links more than 60 million researchers and students across Europe and Asia through a high-speed internet connection.
ASEM started in 1996 with the First Summit in Bangkok (Thailand). Since then, Summits have been held every two years alternating between Europe and Asia. The last ASEM Summit took place in Helsinki in 2006. The next Summit will take place in Brussels in 2010. The Summits provide overall political guidance for the process which involves ministerial meetings, seminars and joint projects mobilising parliaments, business, civil society and other stakeholders. It acts as a dialogue facilitator, covering any political, economic and social issue of common interest. It is also a policy making laboratory, testing new ideas, transferring knowhow, notably on the European integration process to interested Asian partners. It manages growing Asia-Europe relations, enhancing synergies with other bilateral and multilateral fora involving Asia and Europe. ASEM aims at building a stronger partnership between Asia and Europe enabling each region to better understand the other.
For more information on the Summit see: