…And 11th ASEM Summit – Ulaanbaatar.
The 18th bilateral summit between the European Union and China and its related events will take place on 12-13 July in Beijing.
The summit will be hosted by Premier Li, who will represent the People’s Republic of China. The European Union will be represented by Donald Tusk, President of the Council of the European Union, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström will also participate.
The EU leaders will also have talks with President Xi.
An EU-China Business Summit and an event on EU-China cooperation on sustainable cities will take place in the margins of the summit.
EU-China political and economic relations
Discussions will be held in the framework of the jointly agreed EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation, launched at the Summit held in Beijing in November 2013.
The summit will be an opportunity to consolidate progress and give political guidance for the completion of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) and in particular set the timeframe for an exchange market access offers in the CAI negotiations. Leaders are also expected to take stock of progress on a first list of projects on connectivity, linking EU priorities under the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) with Chinese priorities under One Belt One Road. In this context there will be an opportunity to also discuss China’s contribution to the EFSI. Leaders are also expected to address the impact of (steel) overcapacity on the EU industry and it is likely that the summit will touch upon the issue of China’s market economy status.
The summit should announce the launch of the second phase of the package deal on mobility and migration, including negotiations on visa facilitation and a readmission agreement. An agreement on the opening of applications centres for Schengen visa in new cities in China is also envisaged.
Both parties are expected to commit to increase their foreign policy cooperation and agree to further develop their cooperation on defence and security, especially in providing peace and security in Africa and enhancing counter-terrorism cooperation.
The summit will also provide an opportunity for the EU to reiterate the EU’s attachment to improving its dialogue on human rights with China.
In the area of the climate, the summit should advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and assess the implementation of the EU-China Climate Change Declaration of 2015.
The summit will be an occasion to look forward to and prepare the upcoming G20 summit to be held in Hangzhou (China) on 4-5 September 2016. Emphasis is likely to be put on priority issues such as economy, trade and migration.
Regional and foreign policy issues
Recent developments in the EU’s and China’s respective neighbourhoods will be on the agenda. The two sides are expected to stress the importance of dialogue, respect of international law and human rights.
Other foreign policy issues likely to be addressed are: Syria, South China Sea, Ukraine, Libya, Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula.
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11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit
The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit will take place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 July, 2016, under the theme “20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the Future through Connectivity”.
The meeting in Ulaanbaatar will be hosted and chaired by the Mongolian President, H.E. Mr. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will represent the EU, accompanied by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. Additionally, Heads of State and Governments of 30 European States and 20 Asian partners, as well as the ASEAN Secretary-General, have been invited to attend.
The meeting will start at 09.00 on Friday 15 July with a short opening ceremony, immediately followed by a session with the four ASEM forums: the representatives of the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP), the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF), the Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) and the Model ASEM.
At the first plenary session ‘Two decades of partnership: taking stock and looking forward’, starting at 09.30, leaders will assess the 20 years’ experience of political dialogue, economic cooperation and socio-cultural exchange. Partners will look forward to the third decade of ASEM cooperation.
The second plenary will start at 11.30. This session is devoted to ‘Promoting ASEM partnership for greater connectivity’, with an emphasis on developing both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ connectivity between Europe and Asia.
After a social lunch Friday afternoon will be devoted to the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of ASEM. Leaders will also have the opportunity to participate in a traditional Mongolian ‘naadam’ festival, which will give them an opportunity to interact informally, in true ASEM spirit. On Friday evening, starting at 18.00, a dinner for the ASEM leaders will be hosted by the President of Mongolia, H.E. Mr. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.
In the retreat session, starting at 08.40 on Saturday morning, leaders will discuss in a more informal manner under the heading ‘Enhancing the three pillars of ASEM’. This session will include regional and international issues, including counter-terrorism and migration.
At the end of the summit a Chair’s Statement will be issued. There will also be a separate Ulaanbaatar Declaration on the Future of ASEM, marking ASEM’s 20th anniversary.
The Summit will also provide an opportunity for many bilateral meetings in its margins.
Future direction of ASEM
Marking the 20th anniversary of the Asia-Europe Meeting, the summit in Ulaanbaatar will be an opportunity for the heads of state or government to review the progress made and achievements gained since the start of ASEM in 1996. Having grown from 26 partners in 1996 to 53 twenty years later, ASEM has proved its value as a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe.
It will be an occasion for partners to set the course for inter-regional dialogue and cooperation in the next decade. Leaders are expected to call for future work to focus on areas which will benefit the peoples of Europe and Asia, including growth and employment, climate change, energy security, rule of law and non-traditional security challenges.
In particular, leaders are to highlight connectivity in all its aspects – from physical connectivity through infrastructural developments across Asia and Europe and digital connectivity to institutional linkages, political security-related dialogue and people-to-people ties. The Summit is also expected to reinforce the role of ASEM as a catalyst for effective multilateralism and to underscore the three pillars of the partnership: peace and stability, economic prosperity, sustainable development and a better quality of life.
Economic Cooperation and Connectivity
The summit will provide an opportunity for the partners to discuss the state of play in the world economy. Leaders should call for strengthened policies to achieve inclusive economic growth and reaffirm their commitment to enhance labour market outcomes for young people. Focus is also expected to be on the inter-regional trade and investment flows. Leaders should underline their commitment to resist protectionism and to address restrictions, including non-tariff barriers. In this context, the parties will stress the important role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in administering the global trading system, enhancing the rule of law, monitoring trade policies and settling disputes.
Leaders will also discuss digital and transport connectivity. The 11th ASEM is expected to call for stronger trans-boundary cooperation in terms of transportation and to enhance people-to-people links, along with cultural, educational, academic and youth exchanges between the two continents. A working group on ASEM connectivity should be established for a term of two years.
Global and regional challenges
Leaders are expected to exchange views on the ways and means to address current and future challenges to international stability and sustainable development, terrorism, climate change and migration.
In this framework, ASEM partners should discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development goals. Leaders are expected to underline the need for urgent and decisive action to implement commitments and turn pledges into practice.
Partners are expected to strongly condemn recent terrorist attacks around the world and express their determination to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They should also stress the need to address root causes of extremism and radicalisation, emphasising the importance of preventive measures.
The 11tth ASEM Summit is expected to pay particular attention to the unprecedented global challenge of irregular migration, including human smuggling. Partners will discuss the need for comprehensive regional and international responses, including tackling the root causes and providing protection and support to those in need.
The Summit will also seek for more cooperation on international and regional issues of common interest and concern. This includes the situations in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Ukraine, the Korean peninsula and maritime security in Asia.
Other key issues to be addressed are human rights, disaster response and nuclear safety.
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