His Excellency Mr Viorel Isticioaia Budura giving his speech at Dinner Dialogue on 5th June 2014
Ambassador Viorel Isticioaia Budura, the Managing Director for the Asia and Pacific, European External Action Service (EEAS), told an audience of think tanks’ representatives, academics, policy and business leaders the importance and the multi-dimension character of Europe-Asia relations.
Speaking at the dinner dialogue organised by the EU Centre, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, FRIDE and ISDS, he remarked that the wider thrust of the EU’s engagement in Asia depends on how co-operation between Europe and Asia is framed within the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process. Indeed, ASEM is a particularly useful framework for cooperation and it is increasingly becoming more relevant for its partners. He hailed the theme of this year’s ASEM summit, “Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security” as one which reflects the enlarging scope of the EU-Asia relationship and noted that the timing of the summit – in the light of the upcoming COP20 in Lima and COP21 in Paris) comes at the right moment to seek greater congruence among ASEM partners on global issues such as climate change and sustainable development. Also, the summit can also serve as a forum to reaffirm the shared interest to promote peace and security in Asia and Europe, and to share the EU’s experience or promoting reconciliation and settling disputes.
In closing, the ambassador touched on the need to work on the public image of ASEM – while a working group has already been created by foreign ministers to draft a new ASEM press and public awareness strategy, he invited the academics and think-tanks to engage with ASEM in order to raise the public awareness of the inter-governmental forum. This dinner dialogue was also the opening to a 2-day dialogue (6-7 June) amongst some 40 representatives from think tanks across Europe and Asia on ASEM: The Way Forward.
Please click here for a copy of the ambassador’s speech. To view photos of the dinner dialogue, check out our Facebook album here