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Publication: EU-ASEAN Relations in light of the War in Ukraine

An EU / ASEAN Free Trade Agreement would connect the EU and 660 million people with USD 3 trillion GDP in Southeast Asia. FNF and Asia Centre published a policy paper on EU / ASEAN relations.

Following the Conference ASEAN-EU Relations in Light of the War in Ukraine in Bangkok in June, James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan of the Asia Centre have published a policy paper, which focuses on geopolitical tensions, regional integration, trade and values.

The authors believe that negotiations about an ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement should resume: “An FTA would generate prosperity and serve both blocs’ strategic interests. It also holds the framework for ASEAN members to deepen their regional integration.”

Gomez and Ramcharan recognize remaining, long standing disagreements and differences over standards and values, which have stalled the negotiations. “However, the overwhelming sentiment expressed at the conference was that the EU should find ways to enable ASEAN to meet the EU’s standards and embrace its values-based approach to cooperation. If the trade agreements cannot be concluded, it will be a loss for both parties.”

Please download the Policy paper here.

The Regional Office Southeast and East Asia of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the Asia Centre cooperate on various issues, such as Business & Human Rights, ASEAN and Media Freedom in Southeast Asia.

ASEAN-EU Relations

From left to right: Laure Brachet (Head, Political Press and Information Section, EU Delegation to Thailand), Jonathan Head (Southeast Asia Correspondent, BBC News), Karen Gomez Dumpit (Former Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines), Abhisit Vejjajiva (Former Prime Minister of Thailand), and Robin Tamcharan (Executive Director of Asia Centre)

ASEAN-EU Conference


The year of 2022 marks 45 years of partnership between the ASEAN and the EU. Much progress has been made; such as the elevation to a strategic partnership in 2020, and the EU’s recognition of ASEAN´s significance in the EU strategy for the Indo-Pacific. Now, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic and political tensions in both Europe and Asia, there is an urgency to strengthen the partnership between the two entities even further

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