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IP/09/937

Brussels, 17 June 2009

Enhancing Asia-Europe cooperation on energy security: Commission hosts First ASEM Energy Ministerial meeting

The 1 st ASEM Energy Ministerial Meeting is hosted by European Commissioners for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner and for Energy, Andris Piebalgs in Brussels 18 th June 2009. Foreign and Energy Ministers from Asia and Europe will discuss a range of topics related to international energy policy like improving energy policies, sustainable energy choices, and global energy markets and trade. Based on the 7 th ASEM Summit in Beijing last year as well as on the Energy Security Forum held in Hanoi in April 2008 participants will look into possible ways for enhancing Asia-Europe cooperation to address common energy security challenges. At the same time Ministers will work on preparations for the 8 th ASEM Summit in October 2010 in Brussels.

Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner underlined: ASEM has been a most valuable forum of discussion and exchange between the EU and Asia over the last 13 years. This First Energy Ministerial in the ASEM process will open a new chapter in our dialogue and will help us to address various aspects of the energy security challenge. We have started some valuable work following the successful 2008 Beijing Summit and I am convinced that we can do more together to tackle global challenges - including energy security – in a context of economic crisis. Therefore I am convinced that questions of energy security but also of sustainable development are going to play a central role in the preparations for and also during next year's EU-ASEM Summit here in Brussels. Next year's summit In Brussels will be a welcome occasion for developing further our debate on energy security taking account of the economic crisis, developing countries’ situation, and the global threats to the environment and climate change."

On energy policies, Commissioner Piebalgs said: "Energy security, climate change and economic crisis are global problems that demand global solutions. Europe and Asia have much to gain if we work together to change together the energy paradigm towards a more sustainable secure and competitive system.''

Background

Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is the main multilateral channel for communication and dialogue between Asia and Europe since 1996. As one of the four “coordinators” of ASEM, the European Commission underpins the process. ASEM involves virtually the whole of Asia and Europe. The 45 ASEM partners represent half of the world’s GDP, almost 60% of the world’s population and 60% of global trade.

Members of ASEM are the 27 European Union Member States, the European Commission, the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN member states, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Pakistan and Mongolia.

India, Cambodia, the EU Presidency and the European Commission are the four ASEM Coordinators. ASEM Summits are biennial events, and these meetings of ASEM Foreign Ministers occur in the intervening years to ensure the momentum of ASEM. Every year over fifty other ASEM meetings concern widespread sectors such as transport, immigration, trade, financial regulation, economic policy, education, energy, environment, development policies, culture and civilizations, counter-terrorism, demining, other security issues, labour and employment, information technology, and many other issues - as well as political dialogue.

As another follow-up to the Beijing ASEM Summit and in preparation of the ASEM 8 Summit in Brussels, the European Commission will sponsor a high level ASEM Development Conference in 2010 in Europe to address future development policy for Asia in the context of evolving global economic and regulatory challenges.

Attention! After registering, journalists can attend the following events:

09:15-10:30 Opening addresses:-

  • Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy

  • Mr Jitin Prasada, Minister of State Petroleum and Natural Gas, India – ASEM Coordinator

  • H.E. Jan Kohout, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

  • Mr. Yasuo Tanabe, Deputy Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan

10:30-11:00 Press conference ASEM Coordinators: European Commission, Cambodia, Czech Republic.

Both events will take place in the Salle Alcide de Gasperi at the Charlemagne building.

Registration: by sending a message to the following e-mail address:

ASEMconference@mci-group.com

For further information:

http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/asem/intro/index.htm

TREN homepage:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/energy_transport/index_en.htm


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