European Council meeting targets promoting EU-Asia partnership

20:04, September 16, 2010      

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European Council's informal meeting opened on Thursday morning, focusing on external policy adjustment, economic governance, and preparation for the upcoming meetings with Asian partners as well as G20 summit in Seoul.

According to an invitation letter of European Council President Van Rompuy published on Wednesday, heads of member states who attend the meeting will discuss how to give new momentum to the European Union (EU)'s external relations.

The meeting will think first of all of the forthcoming meetings with Asian partners, namely the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the summits with China, South Korea and India.

The 8th ASEM, which is an informal trans-regional platform for dialogue and cooperation, is scheduled for October 4 and 5 in Brussels, while the

13th EU-China summit will take place on Oct. 6.

On the occasion of Thursday's council meeting, Catherine Ashton, EU's high representative for foreign affairs, will brief the participants of her visit to China and her meeting with foreign ministers of member states. The EU leaders will work on defining EU interests to help make Europe a truly effective global actor.

Concrete issues are expected to be addressed during the meeting, especially EU market access and conditions for European investments, economic and exchange rate policies aiming at reducing global imbalances, climate issue, EU dialogue on values, and development in Africa.

EU hopes the exchange will tighten EU-Asia relationships and help Asian countries not only to benefit from but also to contribute to global governance. If Europe has strategic partners, the bloc now needs to implement a concrete strategy with emerging powers.

The leaders are also expected to discuss and define the goals to be achieved at the upcoming G20 summit in Seoul, which will discuss the state of global economy following the world financial crisis.

In his invitation letter, Van Rompuy underlined the importance of EU's cooperation with transatlantic partners, especially with the United States, as the two sides have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world.

Van Rompuy will also report on the progress achieved by the Task Force, including the development of macro-economic surveillance framework.

Pakistan is expected to be discussed on the occasion of the one-day meeting.

Van Rompuy said he did not expect a "fully-fledged strategy to emerge from this one meeting." However, he hopes the meeting will be an occasion to "set the right tone and method for the future."

Source: Xinhua


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