Interview: Economic relations at heart for ASEM: European expert

11:03, October 04, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Economy outweighs politics in future challenges faced by the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), a European expert said on the eve of the summit.

"Economic relations are at the heart of future challenges, while political relations take a bit of a back seat," David Fouquet, director of the Europe-Asia Project, a research center based in Brussels, said in an interview with Xinhua over the weekend.

Despite economic setback, Europe's relations with Asia are "better than that with other regions of the world," he said.

"Relations between the European Union (EU) and Asia are intense, active and multidimensional, but also filled with uncertainties," Fouquet said, underlining the EU's institutional, political and economical difficulties.

At a time when Asian partners are "mystified" by Europe's current situation, Fouquet said, the ASEM process should restore its secretariat that was functioning as the administrating organ in its early days.

"The ASEM process did not find a way to develop a vehicle for the delivery of concrete results," he said, adding that the process lacks treaty-making power and real structure to achieve tangible outcomes.

He said Europe is experiencing a polar situation and trying to find "its place in the world," as a result of the economic crisis and political uncertainties brought by the transition to the Lisbon Treaty.

On Europe-China relations, Fouquet said there is a lot of enthusiasm, interest, and momentum for both sides to push the bilateral ties to "a much higher degree than relations with other Asian partners."

Still, there remain major problems between Asia and Europe, such as the market access issue. The expert cited the case of Japan, noting that the country was accused of behaving as an unfair competitor 30 years ago.

"Gradually, most of the tensions have declined, and this is what is happening with China," he said.

The EU and Asian leaders will meet in Brussels on Oct. 4 and 5 within the framework of the ASEM, a forum for dialogue between Europe and Asia launched in 1996 to discuss global and regional issues.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Chinese Navy soldiers hold an evening party marking the upcoming 62nd National Day aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" in the Pacific on Sept. 28, 2011. The Chinese National Day falls on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2011 shows the crowd at the plaza of Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China. The railway transportation witnessed a travel peak with the approach of the seven-day National Day holidays on Friday. (Xinhua)
  • A man wearing high-heel shoes takes part in the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event when men literally walk in women's shoes to raise awareness about ending violence against women, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Hot Forum Discussion