The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security (HR/VP), Federica Mogherini, was in Singapore for the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and also the ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting on 2-4 August. During her visit to Singapore, she was interviewed by Business Times, in which she said that she would be sending a clear message to its Asian partners at the ARF that the EU can be counted on as a reliable and constructive partner. She added that the capacity of the EU as a global actor is evolving, and that the EU is not only a reliable trade partner, and a pillar of multilateralism, but is also a security actor in its own right. Despite the various crises that the EU faced in recent years, the EU has not disintegrated, and in fact, there is a sense of renewed commitment to European unity. Over the past few years, a number of common projects have been relaunched, and huge strides have been taken in security and defence and creating new opportunities for EU companies through more and better free trade agreements than before.
Ms Mogherini reiterated the message of the EU as a reliable, predictable and steadfast partner for ASEAN in her speech at the RSIS Distinguished Public Lecture held at the Nanyang Technological University on 3 August. During her speech, she remarked that as the world becomes more dangerous and unpredictable, we need to invest more in international cooperation, and in the protection of international law and in multilateralism. She also emphasized the EU’s interest in stepping up its engagement with ASEAN and Asia, as the EU has a clear interest in peace and security, as well as economic growth and development in the region. Report on the public lecture can be accessed here.