The 33rd Asia-Europe Lecture Tour entitled “The Regionalisation of the World. What does It Mean for Asia?” brought Prof. Dr. Luk Van Langenhove, Director of the United Nations University Institute for Comparative Regional Integration Studies, to five locations in Asia.
The deepening of regional integration through organisations and fora such as the ASEAN, ASEM, EU, the East Asia Summit, to name a few, has resulted in the strengthening of regional stability and security. This has enhanced the mobility of people, goods and services. In a world faced with unprecedented environmental and economic challenges that transcend national borders and governmental policies, it is evident that the key in meeting these challenges lies in greater regional integration and improved co-operation.
An expert in regional integration, Prof. Van Langenhove revisited the concept of regionalism by presenting the origin of the concept, its evolving elements, and implications for both Europe and Asia. The lecture served as an opportunity to analyse the regional integration centred on the EU, especially when the relationship between member states and the regional body comes under stress with the economic downturn acting as a catalyst. Prof. Van Langenhove’s lecture also provided suggestions for the Asian context, where there are growing ties among the states forging ahead with regional integration.