Asia–Europe Meeting

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Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM)
Members of the ASEM in blue
Members of the ASEM in blue
Establishment 1996
Asia–Europe Meeting in 2010, Brussels

The Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) was officially established in 1996 at the first summit in Bangkok, Thailand as an exclusively Eurasian forum to enhance relations and various forms of co-operation between the 28 members of the European Union (EU) and its commission, the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its secretariat, and the individual countries of China, Japan, and South Korea.[1] A series of enlargements saw India, Mongolia and Pakistan join the meeting in 2008,[citation needed] Australia, New Zealand and Russia in 2010,[2] Bangladesh, Norway, and Switzerland in 2012,[citation needed] and Kazakhstan in 2014.[citation needed]

The main components of the ASEM process rest on the following three so-called pillars:

  • the Political Pillar
  • the Economical Pillar
  • the Social, Cultural and Educational Pillar

In general, the process is considered by the parties involved to be a way of deepening the relations between Asia and Europe at all levels, which is deemed necessary to achieve a more balanced political and economic world order. The process is enhanced by the biennial meetings of heads of state, alternately in Europe and Asia, and biennial meetings of Foreign Ministers as well as political, economic, and socio-cultural meetings and events at various levels.


ASEM currently has 53 partners: 51 countries and two international organisations. The countries are Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam, while the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat compose the international organisations involved.



The Summits, attended by the heads of state and government of the respective members, have been held in:

Ministerial Meetings[edit]

Aside from Summits, Ministerial Meetings are held on foreign affairs, economic, financial, environmental, cultural or educational issues, attended by the relevant government ministers.

Cultural Ministers' Meetings[edit]

Environment Ministers' Meetings[edit]

Finance Ministers’ Meetings[edit]

Foreign Ministers' Meetings[edit]

Meetings for Ministers of Education[edit]

Science and Technology Ministers' Meetings[edit]

Ministerial Conferences[edit]

Furthermore, Ministerial Conferences are held when needs arise to discuss specific issues and areas beyond the regular ministerial meetings.

Labour and Employment Ministers’ Conferences[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lay Hwee Yeo (2003). Asia and Europe: the development and different dimensions of ASEM. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-30697-3. 
  2. ^ ASEM ministers wrap up ‘productive’ session

External links[edit]