JAKARTA, 20 November 2014 – European Council President H.E. Herman Van Rompuy met with the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) yesterday at the ASEAN Secretariat. On behalf of the CPR, H.E. Vu Dang Dzung, Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to ASEAN, Country Coordinator for the ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations, expressed the honour to welcome President Van Rompuy at the ASEAN Secretariat.

The CPR also expressed their appreciation for the EU’s valuable support and contributions to the ASEAN community building efforts.  The EU’s advanced level of regional integration has served as a source of aspiration for ASEAN, especially now when ASEAN is formulating its vision for the ASEAN Community beyond 2015.

President Van Rompuy spoke of the long-standing ties that the EU has forged with ASEAN, serving as a foundation for strengthening its relationship with ASEAN to a new height. He commended the efforts and achievements made in ASEAN Community building, which had brought tangible benefits to the region and beyond. Although ASEAN’s and EU’s visions for regional integration are largely varied, both regions are regarded as the most successful regional organisations in the world. He reassured the EU’s readiness to further support ASEAN’s regional integration beyond 2015, particularly the valuable experience and lessons learned in the process of European regional integration and the many achievements the European Union has made. They also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues, and ways and means to forge practical cooperation.

The EU has pledged doubled financial support to the ASEAN-EU cooperation programmes in the amount of EUR 170 million over the period of 2014-2020. In expressing the EU’s political will in pursuing its greater relationship with ASEAN, President Van Rompuy reiterated the EU’s commitments towards ASEAN, including establishing EU’s dedicated diplomatic mission and accreditation of ambassador to ASEAN by 2015, and EU’s readiness to resume the negotiations on a region-to-region free trade agreement with ASEAN after 2015.