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ASEF promotes cultural co-operation between Asia and Europe that is based on fair exchange and reciprocity. It provides information through arts websites, and It supports face-to-face encounters and opportunities for mutual learning among artists and cultural professionals in the two regions through travel grants, capacity building and peer-to-peer conversations. It also facilitates multi stakeholder dialogue between civil society and government agencies responsible for culture, via the ASEM Process and at UNESCO

Key areas of work

1) Providing digital access to information

2) Supporting mutual cultural practice

3) Facilitating conversations

In addition, we also facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue between government agencies responsible for culture and civil society. This is done both at the level of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), an informal platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia & Europe and at the global level at UNESCO. ASEM is an intergovernmental process established in 1996 which brings together 21 Asian and 30 European countries, the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Union. ASEF attends the biennial ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meetings (ASEM CMMs) and closely follows the discussions at these Ministerial meetings. Further, ASEF facilitates dialogue among cultural professionals and government officials as well as with other sectors such as health, development, and education. These dialogues currently take the form of ASEF-supported Policy Panels and Public Forums, and particularly emphasise the sharing of good practices from Asia and Europe. ASEF Policy Panels regularly take place at ASEM Culture Ministers' Meetings (ASEM CMMs) including most recently at the 8th ASEM Culture Ministers' Meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria (2018) and the 7th ASEM Culture Ministers' Meeting in Gwangju, Korea (2016).


In addition, ASEF - as the only permanent institution of ASEM - also supports select ASEM initiatives in culture. ASEM initiatives are projects organised by ASEM partners, which demonstrate a particular interest in a certain topic of the ASEM agenda. Currently, ASEF supports the ASEM Cultural Festivals at the ASEM Summits and ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meetings (ASEM FMMs). It has supported the ASEM Workshop: Enhancing ASEM Visibility through Cultural Activities (2010, Viet Nam).