Asia–Europe Meeting

The Asia -Europe Meeting ( Asia-Europe Meeting ASEM ) is an interregional forum for discussion, which is used for multilateral exchanges between Europe and Asia in the fields of economy, politics, education, culture, environment and climate protection.

Creation and development

1994 suggested the Prime Minister of Singapore Goh Chok Tong the French counterpart Édouard Balladur the concept of a " Europe-Asia summit " in order to deepen relations between Europe and Asia. The first consultations were held in March 1996, with about 16 European ( EU Member States and the European Commission) and ten Asian participants, namely the seven former ASEAN countries as well as Japan, China and South Korea involved. Deliberations of the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Economy, Finance, environment, immigration and technology were held simultaneously.

Since 2004, the new ASEAN members, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos as well as the 10 new EU member states take part in ASEM. At the meeting in Helsinki in 2006 the admission of Bulgaria, Romania, India, Mongolia, Pakistan and the ASEAN Secretariat was decided.


ASEM is designed as an informal dialogue forum of European and Asian countries. The aim of the ministerial meetings and two annual summit of Heads of State and Government from Europe and Asia is an exchange of views on issues and problems of Asia and the EU and in exchange with each other. Thematically based ASEM on three pillars:

  • Economy: The Heartland of ASEM. Cooperation through regular meetings of the Economic and Finance. Meanwhile, supplemented by numerous sub- organizations such as the Asia-Europe Business Forum ( AEBF ) and various so called core groups.
  • Policy cooperation in ad - hoc meetings at ministerial level. Topics are especially migration and environmental issues as well as the technological and scientific exchange
  • Culture and Society: cooperation also through ad hoc meetings at ministerial level. Topics are mainly educational policy exchange, the preservation of cultural heritage and social welfare. This column is a child of the Asia -Europe Foundation based in Singapore (ASEF ).

The core of the regional dialogue are the summit, on which meet the government and heads of state of all Member States. You will find every two years alternately in Asia and Europe. The previous meetings were organized in Bangkok ( Thailand ) in 1996, London ( United Kingdom, 1998), Seoul (South Korea, 2000), Copenhagen (Denmark, 2002), Hanoi (Vietnam, 2004), Helsinki (Finland, 2006), Beijing ( PRC 2008), Brussels ( Belgium, 2010) and Vientiane (Laos, 2012).


Currently (2012 ), the 51 ASEM partners ( 49 States and two organizations):

  • Europe ( 30 countries and the European Commission ) Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom, and the European Commission
  • Asia ( 19 countries and ASEAN Secretariat ) Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the ASEAN Secretariat