ASEAN-European Union Ministerial Meeting and Opening Remarks by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, 52nd AMM and Related Meetings, Bangkok, Thailand, 1 August 2019

01 August 2019

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan co-chaired the ASEAN-European Union (EU) Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on 1 August 2019, with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission (HR/VP) Federica Mogherini.

Singapore is the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations from 2018 to 2021.  On behalf of ASEAN Member States, Minister Balakrishnan delivered the ASEAN Common Statement at the Meeting. He reaffirmed the longstanding and multifaceted partnership between the two sides, and their shared commitment to a rules-based multilateral order.  Both sides took stock of the substantive and diverse ASEAN-EU cooperation across the three ASEAN Community Pillars.  
Minister Balakrishnan and HR/VP Mogherini reaffirmed ASEAN and the EU’s commitment to forge closer cooperation in addressing common challenges in an increasingly complex global environment.  Both sides welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN-EU Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation, which articulated ASEAN and the EU’s commitment to promote an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful information and communication technology (ICT) environment.  

Minister Balakrishnan reaffirmed Singapore’s commitment to working with the EU and fellow ASEAN Member States to deepen ASEAN-EU engagement, including working towards the upgrading of the ASEAN-EU partnership to a strategic one.

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1 AUGUST 2019


Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan's Opening Remarks for the ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, 1 August 2019 

  • On behalf of my ASEAN colleagues, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Ms Mogherini.
  • The EU was ASEAN’s first external partner, establishing relations in 1972 and becoming a full Dialogue Partner in 1977.
    • Through the past forty years, the ASEAN-EU partnership has expanded to cover a wide range of areas, covering the political-security, economic, and socio-cultural pillars.
  • Significantly, from an upgrade to an Enhanced Partnership in 2007, the Foreign Ministers agreed in-principle earlier this year, to further elevate ASEAN-EU relations, to a Strategic Partnership.
  • ASEAN and the EU are currently working on a variety of initiatives, as outlined in the ASEAN-EU Blue Book, which you just handed over to me.  And this truly reflects the strategic nature of our relationship.
    • Our two regions are having conversations, frank and open conversations, and cooperating on emerging and evolving challenges, including areas such as counter-terrorism, cybercrime and climate change.
    • We will also be adopting an ASEAN-EU Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation at the end of the meeting.
  • On the economic front, we are pursuing a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement, and are in talks on a future ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement.  We hope there will be a speedy conclusion to these negotiations, which will boost our people and business flows.
  • Today’s meeting will give us a chance to discuss both regional and international developments, and to assess how we can best respond to the increasingly complex challenges that lie ahead for both of us.
  • I note that this is Ms Mogherini’s – theoretically your last ASEAN-EU Post-Ministerial Conference – but I would say that I’m sure we will definitely meet again in a different incarnation, and you will always have good friends in Southeast Asia.  We will always remember and value your contributions. We would like to thank you formally for your tireless efforts in strengthening the strategic alignment between ASEAN and the EU.
  • Particularly at a time like this, I believe ASEAN and EU are the two most successful regional organisations in the world.
  • Invite Ms Mogherini to give her opening remarks. 


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