|ASEM3 ©Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Korea
|AT A GLANCE:|
ASIA - Malaysia, Pakistan
EUROPE - European Commission, Ireland
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation bringing together the 27 European Union member states, 2 European countries, and the European Commission with 20 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. The ASEM dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between our two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.
The initial ASEM partnership in 1996 consisted of 15 EU member states and 7 ASEAN member states plus China, Japan, Korea and the European Commission.
ASEM saw the first enlargement during the 5th ASEM Summit in 2004 in Hanoi (Vietnam), where the 10 new EU Member States (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and three new ASEAN countries (Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar) became officially part of the ASEM process.
The second round of enlargement in 2008 during the 7th ASEM Summit in Beijing (China) brought in Bulgaria, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Romania and the ASEAN Secretariat, increasing total ASEM membership to 45 partners.
In October 2010, the 8th ASEM Summit of Heads of Government and State in Brussels (Belgium) welcomed three member states to the ASEM process: Australia, New Zealand and Russia. This third round of enlargement increased total ASEM membership to 48 partners.
During the 9th ASEM Summit of Heads of Government and State in Vientiane (Laos) in November 2012, ASEM was joined officially by Bangladesh, Norway, and Switzerland. This latest round of enlargement brings the total ASEM membership to 51 partners.