The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) furthers understanding, fosters relationships and facilitates cooperation among the people and institutions of Asia and Europe.
ASEF enhances dialogue, enables exchanges and encourages collaboration across the fields of governance, economy, sustainable development, public health, culture, and education.
In March 1996, the leaders of 25 European and Asian countries, together with the European Commission, convened in Bangkok, Thailand, for the inaugural Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). This historic summit paved the way for the establishment of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) one year later in 1997. ASEF is the only permanently established institution of ASEM and is funded by voluntary contributions from its partner governments and shares the financing of its projects with its civil society partners across Asia and Europe.
The agreement by the ASEM leaders to establish ASEF can be found in the Dublin Principles.
At the 5th ASEM Summit in October 2004 in Hanoi, Vietnam, the ASEM process expanded from 26 to 39 members, including the 10 new members of the European Union, as well as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
The 2nd round of enlargement happened in October 2008 at the 7th ASEM Summit in Beijing, China, when India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Romania, Bulgaria and the ASEAN Secretariat were officially welcomed into ASEM.
During the 8th ASEM Summit held in October 2010 in Brussels, Belgium, 3 new members joined the ASEM process: Australia, New Zealand and Russia. This third round of enlargement increased the membership to 48 partners.
Together with about 700 partner organisations ASEF has run more than 600 projects, mainly conferences, seminars and workshops. Over 17,000 Asians and Europeans have participated in its activities and it has reached wider audiences through networks and web-portals, exhibitions and lectures.
For more information please visit www.asef.org.