World Bulletin / News Desk
“The EU fully supports ASEAN’s efforts and its mission. We are working towards a strategic partnership to encompass not only trade, investment and sectoral cooperation but also more security cooperation,” the state-run Philippine News agency quoted European Council president Donald Tusk as saying.
Tusk made the remarks during the 40th ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila. The summit is part of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related meetings.
The ASEAN-EU, which “serves as a bridge between Asia and Europe”, has developed security cooperation to address the tensions and radicalization which affect markets and societies not only in the Asia Pacific but also in the EU’s neighborhood.
“Terrorist ideologies have spread across continents,” said Tusk. “We can mitigate the threat if we work together, sharing information on suspects and trends of concern.”
Tusk noted that the two regional blocs can work together particularly through information-sharing to counter terrorist attacks as well as exchange of best practices in dealing with violent extremism.
Aside from terrorism, Tusk also noted the cooperation which started in 2012 in addressing other threats such as smuggling and human trafficking.
He added that partnership can be further enhanced in terms of trade, climate change and maritime security.
“Together, we can make our two regions stronger. Like the EU, ASEAN is vital for stability in the challenging regional context and the time of geopolitical volatility,” he said.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, for his part, emphasized that the ASEAN-EU is ASEAN’s largest and only region-to-region full dialogue partnership.
“Our increasing people-oriented, people-centered agenda drives ASEAN-EU cooperation on the bulk of long-standing historical and commercial ties,” he said.