TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy H.E. Baroness Lady Catherine Ashton paid an official visit to the ASEAN Secretariat and met with ASEAN Secretary General H.E. Le Luong Minh yesterday. Lady Ashton's visit reflects EU's continued commitment and political will in its relationship with ASEAN and ASEAN Member States.
Luong Minh expressed appreciation to EU’s efforts and concrete collaboration with ASEAN through the past and ongoing cooperation programmes aimed at supporting the ASEAN Community building. Some of the programmes include the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE) and Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI), which are examples of development assistance that can contribute to greater policy coordination and coherence in support of ASEAN's regional integration and community building, in both trade and non-trade areas.
Further, Secretary General Minh called for EU's continued support to ASEAN in pursuing its post-2015 agenda, particularly the ASEAN Connectivity, to further broaden and deepen regional economic integration. They exchanged views on how both sides could align their priorities and cooperation in the long run, particularly in the ASEAN Community's post-2015 period as well as new developments, requirements and needs in the new stage of ASEAN Community.
Lady Ashton cited the long-standing cooperation and relationships the EU had with ASEAN Member States and ASEAN. She commended the efforts and achievements made in the ASEAN Community building that had brought tangible benefits to the region and beyond. She said that the economic strength of ASEAN is felt beyond the region. Lady Ashton also reiterated EU's support for ASEAN Community and expressed optimism that the ASEAN-EU Partnership post-2015 will continue to be beneficial.
Secretary General Minh and Lady Ashton also exchanged views on the developments in ASEAN and the EU. They emphasized their respective regional strength and experiences in regional economic integration, lessons and successes that can be shared and learned from each other. These include unique experiences and best practices that the two regional groupings can offer.