On 18-19 October 2018 the 12th summit was held in Brussels as part of the Asia-Europe dialogue (ASEM).
The event was attended by leaders of 51 European and Asian countries, EU representatives and the General Secretary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
One of the main topics of the meeting was the development of cooperation in the field of transport and communication. Participants also debated about economic integration, international security and other global challenges, such as climate change, migrations or digitization.
The leaders agreed together that the integration between two continents should be strengthened, as well as increase trade, improve security, protect the environment and bring communities closer together.
European and Asian state leaders stressed the importance of maintaining an open global economy and the observance of a trading system based on the law based on the World Trade Organization. They also drew attention to the importance of deepening economic integration at regional and global levels.
“The theme of our discussions was a balanced connectivity based on principles. Although the free movement
of goods, investments, information, ideas and people contributes to global growth, I am deeply convinced
that we will ensure real connectivity between our regions by bringing people together through education
and exchanges, joint research programs and tourism – said at the end of the event President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
Leaders reiterated their commitment to fully implement actions for sustainable development by 2030.
They underlined the role of youth, but also the importance of scientific, technological and innovative
cooperation in this important task.
On October 15, 2018, before the ASEM summit, the Council approved the EU strategy for Europe-Asia cooperation.
On the margins of the summit took place various accompanying events, including the ASEM Business Forum and the Asia-Europe Economic Forum.
ASEM was established in 1996 as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia. Its main purpose is to strengthen the relationship between both continents. As many as 53 partners participate in ASEM: the European Union, 30 European countries (28 EU Member States and Norway and Switzerland), 21 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. ASEM peaks take place every two years, alternately in Asia and Europe.