- What is the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)?
- What is the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)?
- Who are the ASEM partners?
- What are ASEF's areas of work?
- How is ASEF structured?
- How are ASEF's projects supported and funded?
- What is the procedure to organise a project in partnership with ASEF?
- How can I participate in ASEF projects?
- How can I join ASEF as a staff member or an intern?
- How can I keep up with developments within ASEF?
- How can I order ASEF publications?
- What does the ASEF logo mean?
ASEF is a foundation that:
- advances mutual understanding and collaboration between the people of Asia and Europe through intellectual, cultural, and people-to-people exchanges;
- acts as the civil society outreach of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and works as a platform for Asia-Europe dialogue to stimulate permanent networks that reinforce Asia-Europe bi-regional relations;
- acts as an interface between civil society and ASEM governments and consequently, contributes to the ASEM process by generating unique recommendations for officials’ consideration
ASEF was established in February 1997 by the partners of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and remains to this day the only established institution of ASEM. Although based in Singapore, ASEF operates in all ASEM countries. ASEF is funded by contributions from ASEM partners. Most of ASEF projects are also supported financially by civil society organisations, public institutions and enterprises that ASEF works with. Since its inception, ASEF has initiated projects engaging over 17,000 individuals from Asia and Europe.
ASEM is an informal dialogue process among Heads of Governments currently representing 49 countries, plus the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Commission.
It aims to forge stronger relations between Asia and Europe, based on equal partnership, mutual respect and mutual benefits. Its activities are grouped into three pillars:
- economic and
The inaugural meeting of ASEM leaders was in March 1996 in Bangkok (Thailand). Since then, ASEM Summits have been held every two years.
Since its inception, ASEM has gone through several stages of enlargement. Currently the 51 ASEM partners are: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam, the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Commission.
ASEF activities cover the following areas:
- Governance and Human Rights
- Economy and Society
- Sustainable Development and Environment
- Public Health
- Arts and Culture
- Academic Co-operation and Education
These activities closely align to ASEM priorities.
The Board of Governors is ASEF's decision-making body and represents the respective ASEM partners. The Governors are nominated by partner governments for a renewable period of three years. The Board meets thrice in a two year cycle and sets out the policy directions of ASEF.
ASEF’s Executive Office, represented by the Executive Director and his or her Deputy, takes management decisions based on directions and policy guidelines set out by ASEM governments and the ASEF Board of Governors. ASEF also has four operational departments which are supported by the Finance & Administration. These departments are:
ASEF projects are generally co-organised with institutions from Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partner countries. ASEF shares the cost of the event with the co-organiser(s). Grants given by ASEF to support initiatives are very limited.
Co-organisers and sponsors include:
- government agencies
- think tanks
- educational institutions
- student and youth organisations
- cultural and heritage promotion organisations (e.g. museums, arts festivals etc)
- trade unions and
- other relevant civil society organisations
The procedure you should follow is:
- The potential partner is invited to present a project proposal to ASEF at least 10 months before the scheduled event. Note that projects can take the form of conferences, lecture tours, workshops, seminars, and the use of web-based platforms. Innovative ideas on format are encouraged.
- Project proposals should be consistent with ASEF activities and have a long term perspective, specifically with a networking potential. The project proposal should contain relevant information such as project scope and design, budget and expected outputs. A more detailed concept paper is encouraged.
- As ASEF shares the cost of the event with the co-organiser(s), any organisation’s proposal to ASEF should reflect at least 50% funding of the total cost of the project (either through its own funding or through confirmed sponsors).
- The substance of the meeting should be of multilateral and bi-regional importance for Asia and Europe. ASEF does not finance individual or bilateral projects. As many ASEM partner countries as possible should be represented in the project, with balanced representation from Asia and Europe.
Finally, note that ASEF is usually involved in all aspects of its projects, from conceptualisation to implementation and follow-up and share all responsibilities (format, participants, timeframe, and budget) with its partners.
Participation in projects executed by ASEF is open to nationals from ASEM countries. Exceptions can be made, where a non-ASEM national may be critical for a project’s success. As different projects may have different requirements, please go to the relevant project web page on our website or contact the respective department for further information. All calls for applications are available on ASEF’s website.
ASEM country nationals can apply for job and internship opportunities. You can apply by sending your CV and cover letter to email@example.com. Calls for vacant positions and internship opportunities are accessible on the ASEF website. The requirements may vary from one position to another.
ASEF publishes a monthly enewsletter (ASEF eNewsletter) . You can subscribe to ASEF eNewsletter directly from the ASEF website or by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
To order a publication, please complete our publication order form or you can contact us at email@example.com.
The ASEF logo is a pictorial representation of the letters "a" for Asia and "e" for Europe in a multicoloured continuous strand twisted ribbon. The form of the letters also hints at a meeting of East and West. This logo "Embracing Diversity, Bridging Peoples, Shaping Partnerships" also reflects the objectives of ASEF's work over the past years, and for the years to come.