How should ASEAN engage the EU? Reflections on ASEAN’s external relations
Yeo, Lay Hwee
Date of Issue2013
EU Centre in Singapore
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), founded in 1967, has from its onset been an outward oriented organisation. It has to be outward looking and followed events in the region and world carefully because domestic dynamics and developments are sensitive to such externalities. The member states of ASEAN are also firmly aware of the need to be embedded in the broader regional, if not global context, particularly in the economic arena. One channel that ASEAN used to achieve this was through the dialogue partnerships that it established throughout the years with the major powers and other key countries. The EU is one of ASEAN’s oldest dialogue partners. Trade and investments ties between the two regions have grown tremendously. The EU is now ASEAN’s second largest trading partner and biggest source of FDI in ASEAN, and the partnership now extends also to a whole range of political and security dialogue. Yet despite all these, ASEAN still perceived the partnership as below potential. This paper examines the current EU‐ASEAN relations and reflects on how ASEAN can step up its engagement with the EU at a time when the East Asian region has become the core region of global politics and economics, and ASEAN has to become more united and cohesive if it is to manage the increasing tensions and rising rivalry amongst the big powers in the region, in particular between the US and China.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science::International relations
EUC working paper, No. 13-13
© 2013 EU Centre in Singapore.