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ASEF at the ASEM Culture Ministers' Meetings

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
Preeti GAONKAR Culture Department ASEF Cultural Policy Dialogue Series Culture


ASEF’s participation in ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meetings 

ASEF, as the only permanent institution of ASEM, attends the biennial ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meetings (ASEM CMMs)* and the preceding Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOMs), alongside the 53 ASEM partners. The ASEF delegation, usually headed by its Executive Director, also presents a report to the Ministers of its cultural projects. An information booth (on ASEM and ASEF with brochures, publications etc.) is also set up by ASEF at the SOMs and CMMs.

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.

ASEF support to ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meetings

ASEF complements the ASEM dialogue process by: 

  • Organising an ASEF Policy Panel in the opening plenary of the ASEM CMM to bring civil society views and ideas to the Ministers. Through the ASEF Policy Panel, civil society concerns are included as a vital component of deliberations of the ASEM. The ASEF Policy Panel takes the form of a 45-minute panel discussion featuring leading artists and cultural professionals from Asia and Europe and addresses the topics on the agenda of the Ministerial meeting. This panel is organised in partnership with the host country.
  • Producing a special publication (featuring good practices from Asia and Europe) on the theme of the ASEM CMM, in partnership with the host country. This publication is launched at the CMM or preceding SOMs.
  • Organising special public events in the lead up to the ASEM CMM in order to raise the visibility of the ASEM process in the cultural sectors in Asia and Europe. Such events have included ASEF Public Forums and ASEF Policy Panels at highly-visible cultural summits and conferences. 
  • Promoting the ASEM CMM through
    • ASEM InfoBoard, the official platform of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)
    • Various communication channels of ASEF (website, social media)
    • ASEF’s arts portal,, which features news, events and analysis from the 51 ASEM partner countries 
 ED Presentation at ASEM CMM7     ASEF Policy Panel at ASEM CMM7     7thASEFPublicForum 01

 Ambassador Karsten WARNECKE,                                             ASEF Policy Panel, Culture & the Creative Economy:              ASEF Public Forum, Enabling Crossovers: Creative      

 ASEF's Executive Director presents a report of                         What Opportunities for Asia-Europe Collaboration?                Industries in Asia and Europe in conjunction with       

 ASEF's work in culture at ASEM CMM7                                      at ASEM CMM7 (June 2016, Korea)                                        ASEM CMM6 (October 2014, Netherlands)      

 (June 2016, Korea) 

ASEF's work in culture is aligned to ASEM priorities

ASEF works in 6 thematic areas: Culture, Education, Governance, sustainable Development, Public Health and Economy. ASEF's work in culture demonstrates close alignment with ASEM priorities, as articulated at the biennial ASEM Culture Ministers' Meetings (ASEM CMMs).

At the 1st ASEM CMM (2003, China), Ministers felt the need for an “ASEM Cultural Portal as a gateway to Asia-Europe cultural connectivity [and] to enhance access to cultural information”

In response to this recommendation, ASEF developed: 

  • , an information platform for artists and cultural professionals with news and policy analysis from across Asia and Europe

ASEM Culture Ministers have regularly emphasised the need to “further enhance networking among professionals in cultural and audiovisual fields” in Asia and Europe to ensure “wider and balanced exchanges” and “foster diversity of cultural expressions”

In line with these recommendations, ASEF supports:

  • ASEF Cultural Policy Dialogue Series, which stimulates knowledge exchange through forums, research and training in areas of mutual interest for cultural professionals in Asia and Europe
  • Mobility First! a travel grant scheme to promote greater and balanced movement of artists and cultural professionals between Asia and Europe
  • Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe, which funds and facilitates artistic collaborations between artists in Asia and Europe. 9 editions of Creative Encounters have taken place between 2010 and 2016 in partnership with Arts Network Asia and Trans Europe Halles.
  • ASEF Creative Networks, which funds and facilitates collaborations among Asian, European and bi-regional cultural networks. 3 editions of ASEF Creative Networks have taken place between 2010 and 2016.
  • Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS), which promotes knowledge exchange and joint activities among 100+ museum members in 40+ countries in Asia and Europe  

Contact: Ms Anupama SEKHAR, Director, Culture Department, ASEF (E:


* 2016, Korea; 2014, Netherlands; 2012, Indonesia; 2010, Poland; 2008, Malaysia; 2005, France; 2003, China