President of the European Council

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

The eighth Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM) will take place in Brussels on the 4th and 5th of October. It is a great honour for the European Union to welcome the Leaders of all ASEM member countries, including the Russian Federation, Australia and New Zealand, the three new members who will formally join ASEM at the Summit.

As Chair of ASEM 8 I should also like to underline my personal commitment to this Brussels Summit, so that it will prove to be an occasion for true dialogue between Europe and Asia with concrete results. ASEM is our common strategic asset and is in our mutual interest to develop it further.

The 27 Member States of the EU, the 16 Asian States and the new Members, together with the European Commission, the ASEAN Secretariat, have defined the agenda for ASEM 8. I think that better global governance in a world transformed by a deep economic and financial crisis remains keys. I also think that climate change and other specific aspects of sustainable development must be included in our discussions We have to build upon the results of the previous summits. As political events go, we will also address the "issues of the day".

Together, Asia and Europe have the potential to inspire the world - at - large on the global agenda. Let us work together to produce substantial agreement, which is what citizens expect from us.

President of the European Council
ASEM 8 Chair

Herman Van Rompuy