The European and Asian continents stand many thousands of miles apart at opposite ends of the world, but the summit intended to reaffirm the strategic partnership between EU and ASEAN member states and discuss “past achievements and future endeavours” on a wide range of topics.
European Council President, Charles Michel, stated:
“The EU and ASEAN are the world’s two most advanced regional integration organisations. We understand each other very well, we share the same values and the same spirit of cooperation.”
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) December 14, 2022
Discussions were centred around areas including peace and security, the digital and energy transitions, economic cooperation and trade, sustainable development, climate change and energy, the COVID-19 pandemic, and regional and international issues.
Their joint statement can be viewed here.
The EU and ASEAN welcomed growing engagement between the unions on a range of security and defence-related issues; reiterated their commitment to tackling future emergencies, crises or health threats; and addressed the ongoing conflicts in both Myanmar and Ukraine.
They also committed to continue economic cooperation and increase engagement on “trade and economic issues.” They also announced a new Digital Trade Partnership between the EU and Singapore which will aim to help advance cooperation on digital issues, increase the resilience of supply chains and advance new areas like 5G and artificial intelligence.
Leaders underlined the “importance of affordable, reliable and sustainable connectivity for mutual economic growth, security and resilience in the region.” They also announced that the EU would mobilise €10 billion as part of the “Global Gateway” for South East Asia nations, intending to “accelerate infrastructure investments in ASEAN countries.”
Another shared endeavour addressed at the summit was the EU and ASEAN’s commitment to pursuing joint efforts related to climate change and sustainable development. They announced a €15 billion Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) between the International Partners Group (comprised of the EU, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, Italy, Canada, Japan, Norway and Denmark) and Vietnam, which will help to support and accelerate Vietnam’s green transition.
The €10 billion “Global Gateway” package will focus on South East Asia’s green transition and sustainable connectivity.
The package will amplify sustainable investments in digital, transport, energy, climate, health, education and research areas, supporting “South-East Asia’s transition to a green economy, better access to essential services, and economic opportunities and jobs.”
The package is underpinned by two EU schemes: the “Sustainable Connectivity” and “Green Team Europe” initiatives.
While the former will accelerate infrastructure investments, the latter will facilitate “coordinated green action” between the EU and ASEAN in a range of climate-, environment- and energy-related areas.
President Ursula von der Leyen stated:
“Today we celebrate 45 years of cooperation between two regions that believe in multilateralism and a rules-based world order. Global Gateway will further deepen our strategic partnership. The Sustainable Connectivity Initiative will strengthen ASEAN’s economy, create jobs and be a catalyst in our fight against climate change.”
As we celebrate 45 years of cooperation between two of the world’s most successful regional integration projects, the EU’s Global Gateway enables the EU to invest in a greener, more sustainable & climate-resilient future with sustainable connections & infrastructure in @ASEAN. pic.twitter.com/RiLAMXMUTx
— EU in ASEAN (@EUinASEAN) December 15, 2022
Just Energy Transition Partnership
A total of $15.5 billion will be mobilised as part of Vietnam’s JETP over the next 3-5 years, aiming to support the country’s green transition.
This will support the country in its transition away from fossil fuels towards clean energy, helping it to reach climate targets, whilst also ensuring resilience, job opportunities and prosperity for the people of Vietnam going forward.
“It is vital that the whole civil society is involved in the green transition at all stages and no one is left behind,” states the EU.
Vietnam is actually the third country to set up a JETP; South Africa launched a JETP at COP26 in Glasgow, as did Indonesia at the G20 summit last month.
“As a rapidly growing economy, Vietnam’s JETP will demonstrate that economic growth can be decoupled from fossil fuel energy consumption,” states the EU.
There are a set of targets agreed upon within Vietnam’s JETP which are focused on specifics related to reducing emissions, bringing forward emissions peaking dates, limiting peak coal capacity and accelerating the adoption of renewables, amongst other things.
“The successful delivery of these ambitious targets will result in around 500 megatons (0.5 billion tonnes) of emissions saved by 2035,” states the EU.
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, Viet Nam took a bold step towards net zero at COP 26.
The EU is ready to support you.
Today we launched the 🇻🇳 Just Energy Transition Partnership.
Together for a cleaner, greener future for Viet Nam and its people. pic.twitter.com/mjPkk58Zgh
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 14, 2022
“Championing peace, stability and prosperity together”
In her statement after the EU-ASEAN summit, President Ursula von der Leyen, opened by stating:
“We had an excellent Summit today with our ASEAN partners. Quite a special Summit, too, indeed, Because it marks 45 years of relations between us, and it is a perfect occasion to open a new chapter in our partnership.”
She spoke of the days proceedings, underscoring the summit’s important talking points around energy, trade and infrastructure.
“We want to accelerate, together with our partners, the clean energy revolution,” stated President von der Leyen.
“We want to trade more with each other,” she said.
“[O]ur energy and trade cooperation will only reach its full potential if it is underpinned by the right infrastructure,” said President von der Leyen.
Speaking of the challenges the world is facing at present in relation to the war in Ukraine and its fallout, President von der Leyen stated:
“All this is a stark reminder that today, in this world of interdependencies, there is no such thing as a European problem, or an Asian problem either. All the challenges we face today are of global nature and therefore affect all of us.”
The President concluded by explaining that the two unions have over four decades of partnership behind them, saying they will “continue championing peace, stability and prosperity together.”
The EU and @ASEAN have behind them over four decades of partnership.
We share the same unyielding commitment to multilateralism and the international rule of law.
And we will continue championing peace, stability and prosperity.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 14, 2022
Correction: This article (including the title and subtitle and subheadings) has been entirely reworked, refocused and shortened substantially (including content and overall message) to solely focus on the proceedings and outcomes of the EU-ASEAN summit to avoid any possible misunderstanding or unfair assumptions, generally, or in relation to individuals, organisations, industries, countries or intergovernmental organisations.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister of Vietnam. Featured Photo Credit: ΝΕΑ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ/Flickr