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ASEF at ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meetings (ASEM CMMs)



Every 2 years, Culture Ministers from Asia and Europe meet as part of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), an informal intergovernmental dialogue process established in 1996 & now bringing together 51 countries, the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat. Previous Ministerial Meetings meetings have taken place in Bulgaria (2018, The Role of Culture in International Relations: The Road Forward)Republic of Korea (2016, Culture and Creative Economy)the Netherlands (2014, Creative Industries for Society: Talent, Technology & Trade)Indonesia (2012, Managing Heritage Cities for a Sustainable Future)Poland (2010, Heritage and the Challenges of the Present)Malaysia (2008, Cultural Diversity- Realizing the Action Plan)France (2005, Cultural Diversity: Opportunities and Challenges – ASEM’S Long-term Plan) & China (2003, Unity and Diversity). (Read about the key outcomes of these Ministerial Meetings in 2018 and 2016 on ASEF’s arts website,

ASEF, as the only permanent institution of ASEM, attends these biennial ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meetings (ASEM CMMs) and the preceding Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOMs), alongside the 53 ASEM Partners.

Connecting civil societies: ASEF’s role in facilitating bi-regional co-operation in arts and culture has been consistently acknowledged in all the Chair’s Statements of the ASEM CMMs. At the most recent 8th ASEM CMM (2018, Bulgaria), Ministers recognised ASEF’s “important role in facilitating multilateral cultural cooperation among artists, arts organisations and museums in Asia & Europe.”

Aligning with ASEM priorities: ASEF works in 7 thematic areas: Culture, Education, Governance, Sustainable Development, Public Health, Media and Economy. In the area of culture, ASEF’s work has been inspired by the recommendations of Ministers, as documented in the Matrix of Evaluations and Decisions of ASEM CMMs (2003-2018).

Civil society participation: Since 2010, ASEF has facilitated the active participation of artists and cultural professionals at the Culture Ministers’ Meetings. Since 2014, ASEF and the host country have co-organised panel discussions with cultural professionals at the start of the Ministerial Meetings to ensure that civil society concerns are included as a vital component of deliberations of the ASEM. Previous panel discussions have taken place in 20182016, & 2014.


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