ASEF’s mandate is to promote better mutual understanding between Asia and Europe through greater intellectual, cultural, and people-to-people exchanges, in line with the vision for Asia-Europe cooperation laid down by ASEM leaders at the 1st ASEM Summit in Bangkok in 1996 as well as subsequent meetings. Our purpose has been reiterated at the 5th ASEM Summit (ASEM5) in Hanoi, Vietnam on 8-9 October 2004 through the Dublin Agreed Principles of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).

At the 5th ASEM Summit (ASEM5) in October 2004 in Hanoi, Viet Nam, the ASEM process expanded from 26 to 39 countries, including the 10 new members of the European Union, as well as Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar. The second round of enlargement happened in October 2007, when India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Romania, Bulgaria and the ASEAN Secretariat were officially welcomed into ASEM.