President of the European Commission

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

The Eighth ASEM Summit in Brussels will continue the sustained and constructive Asia-Europe inter-regional dialogue begun in Bangkok in 1996. 47 Asian and European Leaders will be meeting here in Brussels 4-5th October 2010 to discuss global issues and set the priorities and direction for ASEM for 2010-2012.

Together with Europe, Asia is essential to addressing global challenges - be they of climate change, economic and financial regulation, global governance, or achieving a more sustainable and equitable development and improving the quality of life of our peoples. The ASEM dialogue reinforces Asia-Europe understanding particularly because it is flexible and open - encompassing many issues of mutual concern and benefit to the peoples of Europe and Asia - political, economic, social, and cultural.

Our substantial dialogue in Beijing at the last ASEM 7 Summit in October 2008 enhanced mutual understanding between Europe and Asia particularly as we were facing a world financial and economic crisis. I am sure that ASEM 8 in Brussels will carry forward our success in this regard, and in other sectors.

As the permanent European Coordinator of ASEM the European Commission is fully committed to ASEM. The Commission will continue to provide financial support and participation to future ASEM ministerial, senior official, expert and people-to-people meetings in Asia and Europe occurring between the bi-annual ASEM Summits. Thus the Commission will help to ensure that new initiatives and directions agreed by ASEM Leaders in Brussels will be carried forward and implemented in the period 2010-2012.

José Manuel BARROSO
President of the European Commission

José Manuel Barroso