Bob Davis and Bruce Wilson discuss the role of ASEM in building bridges between Europe and Asia in this public lecture.
It’s now 20 years since the first formal meeting between the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Known as ASEM, the Asia Europe Meeting, the leaders of these nations meet every two years. The membership of ASEM has grown from 25 in 1996, to include 51 nations together with the EU and ASEAN in 2016. Australia became a member of ASEM in 2010.
So, ASEM is the largest bi-regional intergovernmental meeting, remarkable as it has no permanent secretariat and no decision-making capacity. Indeed, many advocates for ASEM believe that its informality is one of its greatest strengths.
Alongside the Leaders’ Summit, there are regular meetings of Foreign Ministers (now 18 since 1996), and fewer yet regular meetings of Education, Transport and other governmental actions.
Given the tensions and opportunities in relationships between European and Asian nations, what role does and might ASEM play in addressing these challenges? Why led Australia to join ASEM, and how does it serve our interests? How might ASEM contribute to addressing global issues such as the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals? These questions will be addressed in this seminar.
Bob Davis is a senior officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, currently Special Adviser in Europe Division. He has extensive experience in the Asia-Pacific region, including Ambassadorial appointments to Myanmar (2005-2008) and Solomon Islands (2001-2003) and earlier postings to Korea and Japan.
Professor Bruce Wilson is Director of the European Union Centre at RMIT, and has participated actively in various ASEM civil society activities. The EU Centre works with European and Asian partners to promote the Sustainable Development Goals, and focus attention on their implementation.
Please RSVP online for catering purposes.