by Dr Yeo Lay Hwee (Director, EU Centre)
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the EU Centre in Singapore.
A printable version of the commentary is available HERE.
October is set to be a “very Asia-oriented month” in Brussels according to the European Union (EU) High Representative, Federica Mogherini as she revealed the EU Strategy for Connecting Europe and Asia. Brussels will be hosting the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit on 18-19 October, and a series of related events.
The EU Strategy for Connecting Europe and Asia is a timely contribution to the 12th ASEM Summit. An agenda and plan for connecting Asia and Europe is just what is needed to reinvigorate ASEM, the “natural” platform for the ambitious connectivity strategy. The EU through its bilateral frameworks such as the EU-China Connectivity Platform, and recently concluded EU-Japan and EU-Singapore free trade agreements; its inter-regional EU-ASEAN partnership and multilateral forum such as ASEM can deliver on comprehensive and rules-based connectivity to help sustain the functioning of an increasingly multipolar world. This is crucial at a time when the US is pursuing a short-sighted, self-interested strategy of “America First”.