ASEAN and the EU hold Talks on Maritime Cooperation

READI has broken new ground by facilitating the first ASEAN-EU High-level Dialogue on Maritime Cooperation on 18-19 November 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Policy makers and stakeholders from ASEAN and the European Union met in Jakarta with the aim of sharing experiences on maritime cooperation within their respective regions. Officiating at the opening of the two-day event were H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Jose Tavares, Director of ASEAN Political and Security Cooperation, Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia, and Mr. Ugo Astuto, Director for South and Southeast Asia of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

Maritime cooperation is a complex and multifaceted challenge, which has acquired growing importance for both ASEAN and the EU. For ASEAN, the importance of maritime cooperation is underlined by the fact that almost 80% of the region is made up of the marine domain, a majority of ASEAN member-states share maritime borders with one another, and the region is home to some of the most busiest and strategically crucial sea lanes in the world. For the EU, maritime cooperation is driven by the recognition of the European continent as a maritime continent with almost 70,000 km of coastline, surrounded by crucial maritime domains such as the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and North Sea among others, and where 40% of its GDP is generated from the maritime regions.

While these underlining driving factors provide enormous benefits and opportunities for the two regions, they can also pose significant sources of threats, disputes and challenges if not properly and adequately managed. These include illegal and unregulated fishing, trafficking in persons, weapons smuggling, piracy and armed robbery, acts of terrorism, marine pollution, unsustainable development of coastal communities, and biodiversity loss among others.

The event will serve as a platform to identify the unique and distinctive challenges and obstacles faced by ASEAN as it tries to develop a regional maritime policy and to explore ways in which the EU’s experiences, best practise and lessons learnt may contribute solutions for ASEAN.

READI co-organised the event with the Habibie Center, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and the European External Action Service.

 

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