Foreign Policy Watch: India – EU

[oped of the day] Strengthening the Asia-Europe partnership


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ASEM

Mains level : ASEM - India


ASEM, or the “Asia-Europe Meeting” is a highly relevant event for our continents.


  • It brings together 53 partners made up of the 28 EU member states, Norway, Switzerland and the EU, and on the Asia side, 21 countries and the ASEAN secretariat.
  • It represents 55% of global trade, 60% of global GDP, 60% of the global population and 75% of global tourism.
  • In recent years, ASEM has become increasingly relevant and strategic.

Engaging on global issues

  • Global issues – There is a clear willingness from ASEM countries to engage on global issues – from supporting sustainable development, to rules-based global trade, to information sharing on cross-border threats, to the prevention or peaceful resolution of conflicts. 
  • Multilateralism – it is a key platform to uphold and promote rules-based, multilateral approaches. 


  • Sustainable connectivity and combating climate change are key themes.
  • Green deal – The EU made the Green Deal and the commitment to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. 
  • Need global partnership – To safeguard our planet and to promote sustainable development, cooperation with Asia is key.
  • International issues – issues on the international agenda such as the situation on the Korean peninsula and in Rakhine State, the West Asia peace process, Iran and the wider region, and efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan are a few. 
  • Other areas of cooperation – uphold multilateralism, address security challenges, promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Sense of partnership

  • Relations with other countries – the two can work together with Africa, the Western Balkans, finding a solution to the situation in Libya, or a peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, on Iran etc.,
  • People to people relations – students from both the continents swap Europe for Asia to study at universities; business transactions take place between European and Asian companies, tourism, research on ground-breaking innovation.


  • There is a need to create the environment and the conditions to enhance the connections between our societies and our citizens. 
  • It’s time to translate Europe and Asia’s power into a real partnership.
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