On 12-13 July, in the run-up of the 8th Asia-Europe Meeting, the European Commission organized a Public Conference on Europe-Asia inter-regional relations. About 180 public policy thinkers, advisers and experts from think tanks, academia, civil society, press and private consultancies gathered in Brussels at this occasion. Almost every ASEM partner was represented. The group addressed a range of issues including the evolving regional political architectures, security, global financial regulation, winners and losers in globalization and the quality of life.
The timing of the conference proved excellent. Many ASEM Senior Officials were in town at the invitation of Belgium to prepare for the ASEM 8 Summit (4-5 October 2010). Many of them took part, giving the experts outside the official sphere an opportunity to convey their views and ideas.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Mr. Steven Vanackere, gave the closing address. He called for concrete results at the upcoming ASEM Summit, adding “I sense an opportunity for Europe and Asia to make new steps towards each other, recognizing the new importance, and asset, they represent to each other in the present turbulent multi-polar context.”
The entire speech is available on this website.