Presentation at the ‘Debating Europe’ meeting with representatives of the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission, set up by the TransNational Institute, Brussels, 3rd November 2009....
In October 2010, heads of state and governments from across Asia and Europe will meet in Brussels for the eighth Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM-8) to discuss their future priorities and plans. While countries that comprise ASEM make up around 60 per cent of the world’s population - the agenda of these bi-annual meetings is dominated by powerful economic and financial interests. With ASEM8 coming to the institutional heart of Europe and in the midst of overlapping and prolonged social, ecological and economic crises, ASEM8 provides a unique opportunity for citizens of Asia and Europe to assess the impact of current policies and to demand change.
The Asia Europe People's Forum (AEPF) began in 1996 in Bangkok, in parallel, and in response to the first ASEM summit which pushed for stronger regional blocs and the promotion of corporate power. AEPF is grounded in the common desire of people’s organisations and social justice networks across Asia and Europe to open up new venues for dialogue, solidarity and action.
AEPF provides a space for citizens to share, strengthen struggles and develop recommendations, campaigns and alternatives for both regions. AEPF has actively engaged with ASEM, lobbying for the integration of people’s rights into ASEM. AEPF has contributed to building stronger networks at national and regional levels and has implemented cross regional initiatives on peace and security, economic and social justice, democratisation and human rights.