Jakarta. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union on Sunday (06/08) adopted a new plan of action, seeking to strengthen cooperation in various areas, including the implementation of the Paris agreement.
In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of relations, the two organizations said in a joint statement that they are looking to "further enhance political and security dialogue and cooperation," which will cover climate change, maritime security, counterterrorism, cyber security, preventive diplomacy, mediation and crisis management.
Foreign ministers of Asean members and representatives of the EU held on Aug. 2-8 participate in the 50th Asean Ministerial Meeting.
Together, Asean and the EU make up for around 18 percent of the world's population and 26 percent of the world's gross domestic product. The EU is Asean's largest external source of foreign direct investment. In 2015, the inflow was worth $20.1 billion.
Despite strong economic partnership, EU's influence in the political and security sector is limited. However, EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is confident about the organization's role as the anchor of global security and said that defense cooperation with Asean must be enhanced to meet today's threats.
"We need to bring our EU and Asean defense structures closer. We need to invest more to ensure that common threats receive common answers; make our critical infrastructure resilient and resistant and resistant to cyber-attacks; disrupt and break extremist networks so as to prevent terrorism," Mogherini said in a recent interview with AseanFocus, a publication issued by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute) in Singapore.
She added that interactions and connections between citizens of the two regions as well as economic and trade links are the foundation of Asean-EU partnership, with "common work to increase our collective security should be next."
The comprehensive Asean-EU plan of action for the 2018-22 period focuses on knowledge-sharing, collaboration, dialogue and exchanges to provide maximum benefits to citizens of the two regions.
The plan also includes an initiative for better integration and narrowing development gaps in Asean countries.
In a separate statement, the organizations vowed to address the issue of climate change through EU's support for Asean to implement mitigation measures and continue to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, in accord with the 2015 Paris agreement.