(REGISTRATION CLOSED – For late registration, please contact EEAS-ASEAN-TEAM@eeas.europa.eu and email@example.com)
EU-ASEAN STRATEGIC THINKERS FORUM
PUBLIC DEBATE PROGRAMME
27 February 2018 (09.30-14.00)
EU-ASEAN relations: the next forty years
09.30-12.30: Public Debate
Session 1: ASEAN, Europe and a volatile world
ASEAN and the European Union are similarly challenged by rapid geopolitical transformations and uncertainties over the future direction of US policy and the emergence of a more pro-active and self-confident China. Having just celebrated its golden jubilee, ASEAN is entering a critical new chapter in its quest for greater regional cooperation and integration amid expectations it will play a bigger and more relevant role in global affairs. The coming years will also test the EU’s unity, ambition and resolve in the face of Brexit as well as rising pressure from populists and difficult neighbours. ASEAN’s credibility over the coming years will be determined by its ability to move towards a truly integrated economic community but also by its skill in navigating the difficult US-China relationship and maintaining “ASEAN centrality” in the face of external pressures. Europe is equally challenged by changing US policies and must chart a new course for its relations with China as well as Russia, Turkey and Africa. Both ASEAN and the EU face the challenge of dealing with immigration and refugees and have a shared interest in the preservation of the rules-based international order and developing news norms for cyberspace.
- What are ASEAN and Europe’s key economic and security interests and concerns in a changing regional and global environment?
- Can ASEAN and the EU join ranks more forcefully on tackling global challenges including climate change, sustainable development and terrorism?
- Are there key lessons that ASEAN and the EU share with each other on how to live and thrive in a changing world?
- How are young people in ASEAN and the EU reacting to the rapid global transformations and how is this impacting on regional politics?
Session 2: Will EU-ASEAN relations still matter in forty years?
ASEAN-EU relations have grown and evolved steadily over the years, with both sides inter-acting on a range of economic, political and social issues. Meeting in Manila last August, ASEAN and EU ministers crafted an extensive and multi-faceted plan of action for a further upgrade of cooperation with a focus on bilateral ties, including security issues and connectivity, as well as on the wider global agenda including climate change, counter-terrorism and sustainable development. Ministers and the European Parliament have come out in favour of a resumption of negotiation on an EU-ASEAN free trade agreement. Contacts between ministers, policymakers, business leaders and civil society representatives are increasing. It hasn’t always been plain-sailing, however. Differences over human rights and the application of EU standards in sectors such as palm oil and fisheries as well as the EU’s long-standing quest to become a permanent member of the East Asia Summit continue to cast a shadow over relations.
- ASEAN-EU relations have shown a remarkable degree of resilience so far but will the relationship survive – and if it does will it still matter in forty years?
- In a volatile world, what can the ASEAN and EU do better and/or differently to reinforce relations in the coming years?
- Given their differences on key issues like human rights, can the EU and ASEAN forge a true strategic partnership and negotiate a free trade agreement?
- What can be done to promote greater people-to-people contacts – especially among young people – in ASEAN and Europe?
12.30-14.00: Networking Lunch (all participants and young leaders are invited)