Jakarta (VNA) – The 26th meeting of the ASEAN-EU Joint Cooperation Committee (AEJCC) was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on February 20, reiterating its commitment to enhancing cooperation between the two blocs.

Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, head of the Vietnamese mission to ASEAN, attended the event.

At the meeting, representatives of ASEAN countries and the European Commission hailed the recent developments of the bilateral relations, especially the maintenance of high-level meetings like the ASEAN-EU Leaders’ Meeting in October 2018 and the 22nd ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting last month. These events reached important outcomes such as the agreement to upgrade ASEAN-EU ties to a strategic partnership.

Participants in the 26th AEJCC meeting shared views on the concrete achievements of the implementation of the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action for 2018-2022, including the success of over 75 percent of its action lines being addressed in the plan’s first year of implementation.

They reaffirmed the commitment to strengthening bilateral relations, carrying out the plan, and supporting ASEAN’s efforts to narrow the gap within the group and build a community.

The EU side affirmed the continued promotion of its cooperation with ASEAN and the support for ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture. This was reflected in new policy documents adopted in 2018, such as the EU Council’s conclusions on “Enhanced EU Security Cooperation in and with Asia” in May, and the ones on "Connecting Europe and Asia – Building Blocks for an EU Strategy" in October.

The EU also affirmed its support for ASEAN’s development projects and programmes, including funding worth 196 million EUR for ASEAN regional development cooperation programmes for 2014-2020.

The joint cooperation committee meetings are annual events between the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and ambassadors of the bloc’s partner countries to review cooperation and set up directions for more partnerships to develop. –VNA