2013 Jan 22
January 22, 2013

ASEAN-EU cooperation marked progress

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On 17 January, the 20th ASEAN-EU Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting took place in Jakarta, Indonesia. According to the EU press release, “the two sides noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in ASEAN-EU cooperation.”

In detail, during the meeting the two sides prioritised the key points of the new Plan of Action. They agreed to take operational steps for enhancing: (i) their cooperation in disaster preparedness and crisis response; (ii) maritime issues; (iii) migration and mobility; (iv) science and technology; (v) higher education; (vi) human rights (vii) and enhanced capacity on mediation and reconciliation.

However, EU asked by the ASEAN officials to promote their cooperation with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and with the ASEAN Committee on Women and Children (ACWC).

However, EU stressed the need for stronger ASEAN integration. For that reason, the two sidesreviewed the implementation progress of regional programmes that supports: (i) ASEAN’s economic integration; (ii) institutional capacity-building; (iii) ASEAN’s Free Trade Agreement negotiating capacity; (iv) intellectual property rights (v) and air transport. In addition, ASEAN and EU officials welcomed the initiation of two new projects, namely the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Initiative (READI) and the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE) project.

Forthe ARISE programme, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh and EU Ambassador Julian Wilson signed a grant contract of €3 million for enforcing the operational capacity of the ASEAN Secretariat.

Last but not least, since the meeting wasthe last one of the JCC held under the EU development aid 2007-2013 budget framework, both sides exchanged views on possible orientations for future EU aid under the 2014-2020 framework. -Karafillis Giannoulis, http://www.neurope.eu/article/asean-eu-cooperation-marked-progress