JAKARTA, 17 September 2015 — The European Union expressed its commitment and continued interest to strengthen and elevate the ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations to a greater height. This was conveyed by the new EU Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Francisco Fontan Pardo, who presented his credentials to Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh today.

Ambassador Pardo cited the long-standing ties and mutually beneficial partnership that the EU has forged with ASEAN, serving as a foundation for strengthening its relationship with ASEAN. He reiterated EU’s continued support to ASEAN Community building. He said that the pledged and doubled financial support to the ASEAN-EU cooperation programmes in the amount of EUR 170 million over the period of 2014-2020 is, among others, a reflection of its long-term commitment to support ASEAN’s integration efforts.

According to the EU envoy, another important demonstration of the EU’s commitment is the recent establishment of the dedicated Diplomatic Mission to ASEAN based in Jakarta. He said that his Mission would play the coordinating role with all the EU Delegations based in the ASEAN Member States to ensure the inter-complementarity and close collaboration of the EU’s bilateral cooperation with those under the ASEAN-EU framework.

Secretary-General Minh welcomed the intention of the EU to strengthen cooperation and elevate the partnership to a higher plane. He said that despite the fact that the integration models of ASEAN and EU are different, both regions are nevertheless regarded as the most successful regional organisations in the world. He also expressed ASEAN’s appreciation for EU’s financial and technical support and the sharing of its valuable experience and lessons learned in the process of European regional integration.

Further, SG Minh briefed Ambassador Pardo on the progress made to establish the ASEAN Community by the end of this year. He mentioned that ASEAN was moving steadily towards realising an integrated, well connected, and people-oriented community. He added that ASEAN is finalising its Post-2015 Vision to guide the Community’s integration process over the next 10 years. In this connection, he said that cooperation and continued support, particularly for the ASEAN Centrality, extended to ASEAN by its external partners including the EU, is of high importance to ASEAN’s success and achievements.

Both parties exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues of common interest.