EU SUP­PORTS ASEAN CAUSE

The Euro­pean Union is ready to sup­port the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions which it called a part­ner and friend.

Tempo - - Editorial - (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)

“The Euro­pean Union fully sup­ports ASEAN’s ef­forts and its mis­sion. We are work­ing to­wards a strate­gic part­ner­ship to en­com­pass not only trade, in­vest­ment, and sec­toral co­op­er­a­tion but also more se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion,” Euro­pean Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk said dur­ing the 40th ASEANEU Com­mem­o­ra­tive Sum­mit at the Philippine In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Pasay City yes­ter­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Tusk, ASEAN and the EU have forged a four­decade re­la­tion­ship which its cit­i­zens can rightly be proud, say­ing that there is still po­ten­tial for greater en­gage­ment, from trade to cli­mate, mar­itime se­cu­rity, to coun­tert­er­ror­ism.

“To­gether, we can make our two re­gions stronger. Like the EU, ASEAN is vi­tal for sta­bil­ity in the chal­leng­ing re­gional con­text and the time of geopo­lit­i­cal vo­latil­ity,” he said.

Tusk also said the EU re­mains com­mit­ted to a strong and co­he­sive ASEAN de­vel­op­ing in its own char­ac­ter, in the best in­ter­est of re­gional pros­per­ity, sta­bil­ity, and se­cu­rity.

“Fur­ther en­hanc­ing our re­la­tions based on com­mon in­ter­ests and shared val­ues of democ­racy, hu­man rights, and rule of law is a pri­or­ity for the EU,” he said.

Tusk said the ASEAN-EU serves as a bridge be­tween Asia and Europe in trou­bling times, es­pe­cially in se­cu­rity is­sues.

“Most cri­sis today have a global im­pact. Con­flict in the EU’s neigh­bor­hood has an im­pact on mar­kets and so­ci­eties as well, in­clud­ing here in this re­gion in South­east Asia,” he said.

“Ten­sions and rad­i­cal­iza­tion in the Asia Pa­cific can desta­bi­lize the world be­yond the ori­gin. Ter­ror­ist ide­olo­gies have spread across con­ti­nents,” he added.

“We can mit­i­gate the threat if we work to­gether, shar­ing in­for­ma­tion on sus­pects and trends of con­cern.”

Tusk said the ASEAN and the EU are de­vel­op­ing an­titer­ror co­op­er­a­tion through in­for­ma­tion shar­ing via the In­ter­na­tional Po­lice Or­ga­ni­za­tion and Euro­pean Union Agency for Law En­force­ment Co­op­er­a­tion and the ex­change of best prac­tices on deal­ing with vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

“Be it in the fight against piracy, against il­le­gal and un­reg­u­lated fish­ing, or any other type of transna­tional crim­i­nal­ity at sea, the EU has a strong record and knowhow that we are shar­ing with ASEAN part­ners,” he said.

(Kevin Tris­tan Espir­itu)

CHRIST­MAS dec­o­ra­tions are for sale in stalls on Dap­i­tan St. in Que­zon City.

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