Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Jakarta, 13 July 2023

Check against delivery! 

Thank you, Minister [for Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Enrique] Manalo, dear Enrique. 

Thanks to all of you, dear friends, dear colleagues. It is a great honour for me to be with you here in Jakarta. 

Let me start by thanking our Indonesian hosts for assembling us. 

It was also a great pleasure to see many of you at the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in Brussels, last December, where we commemorated 45 years of EU-ASEAN relations. 

That meeting cemented my impression of a growing political momentum in our Strategic Partnership, with a sense of this being mutually beneficial. 

Mutually beneficial, working on the values of multilateralism and rule of law that bind us together. 

Also, yesterday marked the 7th anniversary of the award issued by the tribunal constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) between the Philippines and China, concerning the South China Sea. 

I recall that the dispute settlement mechanism provided under UNCLOS contributed to maintaining the international order based upon the rule of law.  

International law is often violated. It is being violated by the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the European Union is doing all it can to support Ukraine’s efforts to maintain its territorial integrity and condemn the acts of violence inflicted by Russian forces on the civilian population. 

I will speak more on this later, at the ASEAN Regional Forum plenary, and thank you for your invitation to do so. 

We are the most advanced regional integration organisations in the world – the European Union and ASEAN – and that is why we understand each other at a deeper level. 

We both know how challenging it is to turn the vision of a regional community, at the political level, based on common rules for each of the members, into a practical reality for citizens. And we have to continue working in order for the ordinary citizens to perceive the advantage of regionalisation.  

In Europe, we made the borders invisible, and you can travel from Gibraltar to Helsinki without crossing any border or showing your passport. And certainly, citizens have to understand the advantages of working together at the regional level, and working together as regional blocks that we represent – the European Union and ASEAN. 

Our similarities, and the lessons learned from our first two years as Strategic Partners, have opened the door to deeper and more productive cooperation. I am personally strongly engaged in this cooperation between the European Union and ASEAN. 

I think that this exemplifies the success achieved with our Strategic Partnership, the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement, our common [EU-ASEAN] Plan of Action, and the Commemorative Summit held in Brussels. 

This was also recognised by our leaders at the Commemorative Summit in December, who affirmed – and I quote – “we have a common strategic interest of holding regular leaders level engagement between ASEAN and the European Union and [we] look forward to a decision on regular Summits in this year [2023]”.   

We will continue to look at ASEAN for a clear and positive decision on this proposal this year, one which would see contacts between our leaderships on a regular basis to identify new areas of mutual interest and ensure that our two regions remain on-track with regards to our trade and development links. 

Because yes, we have to push for developing deeper our trade and development links. 

Finally, let me raise one issue of concern. You know that we faced a challenge related to the potential of Myanmar assuming the role of ASEAN Coordinator for relations with the European Union. We do not recognise the military junta and trust you will find a solution to overcome this issue. All that being said with the best will of cooperation among us. You are the most vibrant region in the world, economically and geopolitically, and the European Union wants to share with you the future of the world by working together on facing the world challenges. 

Thank you, and now I turn the floor back to my Co-Chair. 

Link to the video: 

Source – EEAS

EU-ASEAN: Press remarks by EU HRVP Borrell before the Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia


Jakarta, 13 July 2023

It is a great pleasure to be here representing the European Union.  

I am here for three purposes. 

First, to hold the EU-ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] Ministerial Meeting. Secondly, to participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum. Thirdly, to have bilateral meetings with all the countries in the region. 

I want to stress the clear convening power that the ASEAN has. I want to stress the importance of this part of the world. 

The European Union wants to engage more with the ASEAN. It is a vibrant economy. It is a geopolitical power. We have to be more present here.  

I hope that we will discuss regional tensions – there are many in this part of the world – and how we can contribute together to face global challenges and to develop multilateralism. 

I think it is going to be two busy days, but important days for me, representing the European Union.  

It is a pleasure to be here. 

Thank you. 

Link to the video:

Source – EEAS

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