Providing an overview on development cooperation between ASEAN and the EU and its Member States, the first edition of the EU-ASEAN Blue Book was presented to the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh by H.E. Francisco Fontan, Ambassador of the EU during launch ceremony at the ASEAN Secretariat. Representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat, members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, EU Member States, ASEAN dialogue partners international organizations, and civil society representatives attended the event.
The book highlights a number of success stories that have come as a result of the joint efforts of the EU and ASEAN. The EU funding for ASEAN regional development cooperation programs for 2014-2020 amounts to €196 million. This comes in addition to EU bilateral cooperation with individual ASEAN countries, which includes more than €2 billion in grant assistance, and to the assistance of individual European Members States to ASEAN and its Members States.
“The EU and ASEAN are the two most advanced regional organizations in the world, committed to joint efforts in many areas. The EU has significantly increased – in fact, more than doubled – its development cooperation funds to support the ASEAN regional integration agenda from 2015 onwards. I believe that the enhanced EU cooperation with ASEAN, as outlined in this Blue Book, will contribute to an ever stronger partnership between the two regions,” said EU Ambassador Francisco Fontan.
The opening session was followed by a presentation of the “EU-ASEAN Blue Book 2016”, with a focus on Development Cooperation in 2015 by Franck Viault, Minister Counsellor, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation jointly with EU Member States Embassies.