Van Rompuy confident of successful outcome to EU-Asia summit

14 October 2014

Source: Tageszeitung, die (Germany)
Source type: Newspaper
Published on: 04 Oct 2010

European council president Herman Van Rompuy told the opening of a major EU-Asia summit on Monday he was confident it would produce "concrete" results.

Some 47 Asian and European leaders will be meeting in Brussels on 4 and 5 October to discuss various global issues and set priorities for the coming year.

Speaking at the start of the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Van Rompuy, the former Belgian PM, said he was "personally committed" to the success of the event.

He said he hoped it would provide an opportunity for "true dialogue" between European and Asia, ending with "concrete results".

Better global governance, climate change and sustainable development issues would be top of the agenda and he hopes the summit "will build upon the results of the previous summits".

Expressing optimism that it would "produce substantial agreement," he added, "Together, Asia and Europe have the potential to inspire the world."

In his opening address, European commission president José Manuel Barroso said the summit will "continue the sustained and constructive Asia-Europe inter-regional dialogue" begun in Bangkok in 1996.

He said, “The ASEM dialogue reinforces Asia-Europe understanding particularly because it is flexible and open - encompassing many issues of mutual concern and benefit to the peoples of Europe and Asia - political, economic, social, and cultural.

"Our substantial dialogue in Beijing at the last ASEM 7 summit in October 2008 enhanced mutual understanding between Europe and Asia particularly as we were facing a world financial and economic crisis. I am sure that ASEM 8 will carry forward our success in this regard, and in other sectors.”

"The commission will help to ensure that new initiatives and directions agreed by ASEM leaders will be carried forward and implemented in the period 2010-2012."

Meanwhile, in a side event, civil society organisations produced an eight-point action plan for leaders attending the ASEM event, who include German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Chinese PM Wen Jiabao and Naoto Kan, the Japanese premier.

Dominique Girard, director of the Asia-Europe foundation, said, "We want to ensure that the political momentum of ASEM is transmitted to the ground where the people are".

The summit, the eighth to be held, has been months in preparation and there are 1,200 journalists covering the event.

-By Martin Banks, The Parliament