At the 8th ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting held on 28 February-2 March 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria, ASEF’s role in reinforcing the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process was reiterated. The Ministers acknowledged ASEF’s efforts in facilitating multilateral cultural co-operation among artists, arts organisations and museums from the 53 ASEM partner countries. In particular, the Ministers appreciated the value-add brought in by the ASEF Policy Panel: From Cultural Diplomacy Towards Cultural Co-operation: What Future Directions for Asia-Europe Relations?, which channelled inputs from civil society to the Ministerial discussions.

The Ministers similarly recognised the role of the ASEF’s arts and culture portal, culture360.ASEF.org, and the specialised website on museums in Asia and Europe, asemus.museum, in connecting museums in the two regions. They also commended ASEF’s new travel grant, Mobility First! ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative for enabling greater Asia-Europe connectivity.