Two regions of the world are taking a decisive step in terms of their bilateral relations. The EU and ASEAN, the most important regional organisation in the Indo-Pacific, are set to become strategic partners.
A key goal of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union has thus been achieved.
At the annual meeting of EU and ASEAN Foreign Ministers on 1 December 2020, the countries decided to upgrade relations between the two regional organisations to a Strategic Partnership. Europe and Southeast Asia are thus sending a clear signal of support for multilateralism. This means that 37 countries and 1.1 billion people are set to have even closer ties in the future. The EU and ASEAN make up 23 percent of global GDP. With the Strategic Partnership, a key goal of the Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union has been achieved. This is also a milestone with respect to the implementation of the German Government’s policy guidelines on the Indo-Pacific. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas emphasised the following: