What We Do


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Who We Are

ASEF is an intergovernmental not-for-profit organisation that:

  • advances mutual understanding and collaboration between the people of Asia and Europe through opportunities that enable an exchange of ideas;
  • acts as the civil society outreach of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and works as a platform for Asia-Europe dialogue to stimulate permanent networks that reinforce Asia-Europe bi-regional relations;
  • acts as an interface between civil society and ASEM governments and consequently, contributes to the ASEM process by generating unique recommendations for officials’ consideration

Our Vision

A world in which Asians and Europeans shape the future together - respectfully, fairly, and sustainably.

Our Mission

To complement the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Process through opportunities for Asians and Europeans to exchange ideas and collaborate, to achieve innovative and sustainable solutions for common global challenges. 

Our Core Values


We pride ourselves as an organisation that connects people and civil societies of 51 Asian and European countries and 2 regional organisations. We value, celebrate and leverage our differences in culture, thought and ideas through dialogue and cooperation, moving forward together in harmony to create a sustainable future in Asia and Europe.


We foster a foundation of mutual respect based on equality. We engage with tolerance, acceptance, empathy and understanding communicating supportively.


We build a foundation to jointly create a sustainable future in all 3 dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and environmental – by contributing to the well-being and protection of the present and future generations in our societies.


We incorporate mutual, continuous and lifelong learning by sharing knowledge and experiences from diverse perspectives and disciplines, encouraging interdepartmental and multi-stakeholder collaboration to tackle current global challenges. We are flexible, adaptive, resilient and open to growth and change.


We maintain a consistent standard of engagement with our civil society and government stakeholders. We aspire to provide our employees with a platform for and a work culture conducive to growth in their respective strengths and specialities.


We pursue transparency and trust in our individual roles and in the work and projects we do which improves ASEF’s activities and positions it as a leading inter-governmental not-for-profit organisation.

Our Areas of Work

We are a unique meeting point for exchanges and cooperation between Asia and Europe. We believe that bringing these 2 continents together in mutual dialogue will ultimately contribute towards the pursuit of common goals. We focus on strengthening Asia-Europe relations through our seminars, workshops, conferences, publications, web portals, grants, and public talks.

In the past 23 years, we have brought together more than 40,000 people from Asia and Europe, implemented through our projects covering our thematic areas of focus: 

Culture We promote cultural relations based on fair exchange and reciprocity. We connect artists, cultural professionals, non-profit arts organisations, networks and museums across the ASEM region. We provide access to information on arts, culture, & heritage via our web portals. We promote mutual cultural practice via our grants and capacity building programmes. We facilitate conversations between arts communities in Asia and Euorpe. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Culture.
Economy We address current economic issues and long-term trends impacting Asian and European societies in line with ASEM’s political and economic agenda concerning the international financial and economic situation across ASEM constituencies. ASEF’s contribution focuses on economic policy coordination across Asia and Europe, international trade and investment as well as sustainable growth. In tandem with the ongoing ASEM dialogue on the international financial and economic crisis, our activities focus on examining the impact of the economic crisis on society, engaging representatives from government and civil society in a collective reflection, and giving inputs for innovative and integrated policy recommendations. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Economy.
Education We contribute to education policy dialogue and capacity building, and facilitate youth networks. Our projects strengthen collaborations between education institutions and exchanges among young people, academics and educators through interdisciplinary and pragmatic approaches. We direcly link key players in education to the ASEM Education Process and ASEM Leaders' Meetings. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Education.
Governance Respect for human rights, rule of law, effective participation, and accountability of public institutions are some areas that lay the foundation for good governance. At ASEF, we encourage informal, open and non-confrontational dialogue between civil society and government representatives in this field, through its current project series on human rights and public diplomacy. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Governance
Media Through our media projects, ASEF creates unique networking platforms for the exchange of views and ideas as well as cooperation among mass media representatives of Asia and Europe. The media projects address themes aligned with the ASEM agenda, which examine current issues relevant to Asia-Europe relations, challenges faced by the media industry, as well as the professional development of media personnel. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Media.

We work to strengthen information exchange and create a space where the civil society, the academia, businesses, and governments can meet to analyse issues and discuss solutions and possible policy changes. We have initiated several platforms for dialogue between stakeholders in Asia and Europe, one of which occurs at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Our programmes tackle issues from a scientific, social, and cultural perspective, and often result in innovative policy recommendations for decision makers in both regions. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Sustainable Development.

The ASEF Public Health Network is a unique participatory platform that encourages public health dialogue in Asia and Europe. The Network provides space for health and non-health sector actors to share their knowledge and experience. This facilitates multi-stakeholder partnerships between representatives from governments, international organisations, business corporations and non-profit organisations. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Public Health.
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