Foreign Ministers of Member States of the European Union and the Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), gathered on 21 January 2019 in Brussels, Belgium, at the 22nd EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting.
According a joint statement released by the delegation, during the meeting, the two organisations, among a raft of discussions, emphasised the importance of shared values and common interests that bind the two regions in a longstanding partnership as “partners in integration”, such as the principles of mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality for all states, and other principles of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, the Charter of the United Nations, and international law. They welcomed further dialogue and engagement between ASEAN and the EU and recognised the need for close cooperation to address the shared challenges we face. It welcomed the successful convening of the EU-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Brussels in October 2018 and underscored its commitment to implementing the EU-ASEAN Plan of Action (2018-2022).
It reaffirmed the significant role played by ASEAN and the European Union in shaping the political, socio-economic, and security agenda for both regions and globally, and agree in principle to upgrade EU-ASEAN relations to a Strategic Partnership. It reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen EU-ASEAN relations and cooperation across all areas of mutual interest, as outlined in the EU-ASEAN Plan of Action 2018-2022. It reiterated support for ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture, and for ASEAN’s role as a driving force in promoting dialogue, moderation, cooperation for peace, security, stability, prosperity, and the rule of law in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
The EU and its Member States noted the adoption by the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) in October 2018 of their concept paper on observership of ADMM-Plus Experts Working Group activities and will prepare appropriate applications for observership in accordance with ADMM-Plus processes. ASEAN notes the conclusions adopted by the Council of the European Union in May 2018 on enhanced security cooperation in and with Asia.
The EU recalled its support for the "ASEAN Community Vision 2025: Forging Ahead Together". It also reaffirmed the shared commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. It also agreed to intensify engagement and dialogue between the two sides, including through the EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with the EU; the EU-ASEAN Trade Commissioner Consultations, the EU-ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting, the EU-ASEAN Senior Economic Officials’ Meeting, and the EU-ASEAN Joint Cooperation Committee.
In 2019 Thailand takes Chairmanship of the ASEAN.