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"Asia and Europe must look beyond platitudes and start to engage meaningfully with each other"
Yeo Lay Hwee, Director of the European Union Centre in Singapore and one of the publication's contributors
Asia and Europe are in the midst of rapid political, economic and societal change. While some of the volatility is worrying and unsettling, positive developments are also afoot. Asia and Europe are buzzing with new ideas, constructive initiatives and technological innovations aimed at building a better world. This moment of change means that, more than ever before, this is the time for a stronger Asia-Europe conversation on common aspirations and challenges – as well as on differences.
The Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) with its 53 partners across Europe and Asia provides the perfect platform for such a discussion. But while it has evolved into a crucial link between the two regions since its founding in 1996, most participants agree on the need for more ambition and courage to take ASEM into new areas, expand existing cooperation and respond to the challenge of living in a turbulent and unpredictable world.
This discussion paper goes beyond officialdom and draws on the insights of the ‘unusual suspects’ – students, teachers, activists, journalists, think tankers, etc. – who offer their unvarnished views on how to give ASEM more traction in a changing world and explore new dimensions of the Asia-Europe relationship.
The publication is divided into three parts, to coincide with ASEM’s three pillars:
Pillar 1: Political
Pillar 2: Economic and financial
Pillar 3: Social, cultural and educational
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