Southeast and East Asia
The Foundation's work in Southeast and East Asia is aimed to support political, economic, and social developments. On a regional level, this is realized in cooperation with our partners like the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), the Economic Network Asia (EFN), and the Working group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. We bring together like-minded individuals in the region to promote the liberal principles of individual freedom, social market economy, and the protection of human rights.
A phenomenal song from a generation that speaks out
A song about breaking free from domestic violence earned the judges nod at the regional songwriting contest, Living Freedom
In Asia, democracy is tested by coronavirus and China
In Southeast Asia, where democracy has been sliding back in a number of countries, leaders have used the pandemic to boost their authoritarian rule in the name of a state of emergency. They have restricted freedoms, tightened law enforcement, and abused their emergency powers. But citizens are pushing back, a silver lining in these bleak times.
Southeast Asia uses pandemic and spread of disinformation to restrict press freedom
The health crisis became an excuse to tighten restrictions on news coverage and harass journalists, sending chills to newsrooms in the region. This wave of repression came on top of authorities clamping down on ‘fake news,’ using the supposed spread of disinformation as a justification to attack the press.
Why EU and ASEAN won’t seem to get a Free Trade Agreement anytime soon
In times of turmoil in international relations, the European Union has to find new regional trade partners - and ASEAN is a potential candidate for a fruitful Free Trade Agreement. But even though there have been several rounds of discussions, an agreement is nowhere in sight. ASEAN is EU’s third largest trading partner outside Europe, but the road to an FTA between EU and ASEAN is long and bumpy. What are the reasons?
Naumann Foundation relocates Global Innovation Hub to Taipei
The Hub aims to serve as a catalyst for digital projects in order to strengthen democracy and open society, and to support FNF on its way to becoming a creative innovation platform for liberalism. With its political stability and its democratic, pluralistic and liberal society, Taiwan offers ideal conditions for the work of the Global Innovation Hub. Taiwan is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of digitalization.
Thailand takes lead in LGBT rights
Thailand is seen as a relatively LGBT-friendly place, but there is no legal partnership status to support LGBT couples. However, this might change soon. Thailand is close to allowing same-sex unions. The planned legislation could be a major breakthrough. If the bill passes the parliament, Thailand would be the first country allowing same-sex partnerships in Southeast Asia and the second one in Asia. Can full equality already be achieved?
Democracy means balance: Do not deny governments authority to deal with pandemic
Liberals and democrats must be careful not to be seen to be opposing the role of the state. The challenge is heightening awareness, vigilance, and readiness to push back against attempts by autocrats to exploit the crisis; and the need for innovation and enterprise in pushing approaches that highlight the advantages of democratic norms and processes as successful democratic states have demonstrated.