The ASEF Youth Connections network was launched in 2005 to strengthen youth-to-youth contacts and dialogue in ASEM member countries. By year-end, the network had facilitated two projects in Shanghai, China:
1.Sharing Analysis On Regional Economies: An Asia-Europe Joint Research And Exchange Initiative for Students
This project, which was carried out from February to December 2005, focused on promoting joint learning and sustained exchanges between Asian and European students at the undergraduate, graduate, and PhD levels, particularly with regard to developments in regional and inter-regional economics. At the same time, its aim was to foster long-term dialogue and co-operation among students from prestigious universities in Asia and Europe. The final seminar of the project, which took place in Shanghai in December, tackled the lessons of European integration for China, the official position of the EC towards China, and bilateral relations between China and selected European countries.
2. Asia-Europe Young Volunteers Exchange 2005
This project was carried out from July to Setempber 2005. It brought together 13 volunteers from 11 ASEM member countries and was held under the theme “Voluntary Service And Cultural Diversity: A Collective Strength To Transform Society Positively.” The project was realised in three phases: an introductory meeting, work camps, and an evaluation meeting. The introductory and evaluation meetings took place in Paris, France, at the premises of the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service. During the work camp phase of the project, volunteers from Asia were matched to organisations in Europe and vice versa, so they could learn and exchange best practices and conduct new bi-regional activities. This experience helped participants to understand the complexity of cultural diversity in the work camp environment.