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Jakarta Post

ASEAN, EU elevate ties to become ‘strategic partners’

  • Dian Septiari
    Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 3, 2020   /  11:14 am
ASEAN, EU elevate ties to become ‘strategic partners’ Stick together: The European Union’s then-foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini (second right), poses for a photo with Thailand's Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai (left) and Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (second left) during the ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok on Aug. 1, 2019. (AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha)

After years of continuous lobbying, the European Union upgraded its relationship with ASEAN into a strategic partnership, which enables it a higher level of engagement with the region’s leaders. However, concerns about the EU’s stance on palm oil has Indonesia feeling weary about the supranational organization having a bigger presence in the region. On Tuesday, foreign ministers of ASEAN and EU nations, together with ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, met virtually to upgrade their ties at the 23rd EU-ASEAN ministerial meeting, co-chaired by Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell. “The opportunity for more engagement among our leaders to oversee and shape opportunities for further cooperation on trade, security and defense, and sustainable development [&hel...