The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)
THE FRAMEWORK

November 2011

ASMEM Partners
  1. ASEM has a Summit Meeting every two years. At first, Foreign Ministers' Meetings, Finance Ministers' Meetings and Economic Ministers' Meetings were held every year, based on a decision made at the Third Summit Meeting in 2000. With regard to the Foreign Ministers' Meetings, however, the Sixth Foreign Ministers' Meeting in April 2004 decided that subsequent meetings would be held in the years when the Summit Meetings were not. In addition to those meetings, the following gatherings have taken place: Environment Ministers' Meetings, Culture Ministers' Meetings, Educational Ministers' Meetings, Labour and Employment Ministers' Conferences, Ministerial Conference on Cooperation for the Management of Migratory Flows between Europe and Asia, Science and Technology Ministers' Meeting, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministerial Meeting, Ministerial Conference on Energy Security and Transport Ministers' Meeting.

  2. At the officials' level, Senior Officials' Meetings (SOM) have been held several times a year for the purpose of coordinating the whole ASEM process. At the same time, the coordination mechanism can be applied to specific fields. For example, Senior Officials' Meetings on Trade and Investment (SOMTI) had been held once a year with the aim of coordinating the economic aspect, such as the facilitation or promotion of trade and investment.

  3. Because ASEM has no permanent secretariat, it is managed on a day-to-day basis by four coordinators, two of which are from Asia (a representative from the Northeast Asian (NESA) countries, and a representative from the 10 ASEAN members and the ASEAN Secretariat), the other two representing Europe (the EU presidency and the European Commission). Japan served as one of the coordinators from ASEM4 in September 2002 to ASEM5 in October 2004 and November 2010 to October 2011.

  4. In addition to the coordinating processes above, such meetings as are necessary for the coordination of ASEM are held from time to time, for instance Asian Senior Officials' Meetings, European Senior Officials' Meetings or Coordinators' Meetings.

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