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Brussels, 21 May 2010

First visit of Commissioner Piebalgs in Indonesia to sign EU-funded programme in Education and to participate to the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) development conference

From 24 to 26 May, the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will be travelling to Indonesia to attend the second Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Development Conference and to participate in high level discussions on EU-Indonesia cooperation. On the occasion of his first visit to Asia, the Commissioner will reaffirm the EU's commitment in the field of education as a way to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, by signing a €200 million agreement in budget support to basic education in Indonesia.

"No country can grow if its people can not read and write. The programme launched today shows EU's support to Indonesian efforts to provide every child an education" said EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs. On the eve of the ASEM Development conference, he added: "EU and Asia have to join forces to reach the Millennium Development Goals and trigger opportunities for growth and jobs in the region. Too many people still live in poverty, child and maternal mortality is too high, and climate change threatens to reduce living standard. Our actions must be a catalyst for change".

EU- Indonesia aid cooperation

On Tuesday 25th May, EU Commissioner Piebalgs, together with Dr. Mohammad Nuh, Minister of National Education, will sign the Education Sector Support Programme, amounting to €200 million. The objective is to help the government of Indonesia address the challenges of regional disparities in terms of access and quality of education. This is the first time the EU will provide budget support to Indonesia and this will be the second largest budget support operation in Asia.

On Wednesday 26th May, Commissioner Piebalgs will visit the EU-funded "Clean Batik Initiative" project. The project relates to sustainable production in the traditional textile industry in Indonesia by creating demand for eco-friendly batik production.

ASEM Development Conference

On Wednesday 26th May the Commissioner will be in Yogyakarta to open the two-day ASEM Development Conference II, "Towards an Asia-Europe Partnership for Sustainable Development", co-hosted by the European Commission and the Indonesian Government.

Discussions will focus on the future of international cooperation for development, as well as on topics such as social cohesion, low-carbon development, and policy coherence for development. Some 150 representatives from ASEM partners - 27 EU Member States and 16 Asian Countries, as well as the ASEAN secretariat and the European Commission-, think-tanks, international organisations and civil society will attend the ASEM Development Conference II with the aim of addressing the common challenges of development cooperation.

In addition to Andris Piebalgs, keynote speakers include the Prof Armida Alisjahbana, Minister of Development, Indonesia, and Olga Algayerova, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Leading think-tank experts contributing to the conference include Simon Maxwell, former Director of the Overseas Development Institute, and Dirk Messner, Director of the German Development Institute. High-level officials from China, France, Japan, and Vietnam will also be making formal contributions.

The Conference forms part of a series of meetings that will take place in the lead-up to the ASEM8 Summit of Heads of State and Government, which will be hosted by Belgium on 4-5 October 2010.

More info:

Videos and pictures of Commissioner Piebalgs' visit will be available on Europe by Satellite's website:

See also MEMO/10/206 on examples of EU-funded projects in Indonesia: Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Support Project; Comprehensive HIV/AIDS programme in Banceuy narcotics prison; Clean Batik Initiative of the Regional Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production (Switch Asia)

See also MEMO/10/207 on the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) which specificies which countries are part of ASEM, how does ASEM work, who really benefits from Asia-Europe cooperation and dialogue and why is ASEM so important today.

ASEM Development Conference II website:

More information on EU-Indonesia Cooperation is available on the internet:

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