Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

EU-ASEAN meeting in Cambodia

Adelina Marini, May 27, 2009

EU foreign ministers will meet their ASEAN counterparts in Phnom Penh today and tomorrow as part of the regular dialogue between the two parties. The financial and economic crisis is expected to dominate the meeting, said the commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Nevertheless she reminded that not the less important questions shouldn't be forgotten like climate change, energy and food security, terrorism and trans-national crime. Integration within ASEAN will also be one of the main issues at the meeting.

The countries that take part in the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar (former Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

For the financial period 2007-2013 the EU has set aside 1.3 bn euro for Development aid for South East Asia. At the moment the main tasks of the ASEAN is the internal integration for which the European Commission has spent 70 mn euro. The integration consists of provisions for Ministerial Councils, a human rights body, accreditation of ambassadors, a Committee of Permanent Representatives structure in Jakarta. There will be a Secretariat too. In other words the structure of the Association is very similar to that of the EU. In March this year it agreed Blueprints for the Political/Security Community and the Socio-Cultural Community, adding to the Blueprint for the Economic Community endorsed earlier.