What We Do


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Who We Are

ASEF is an intergovernmental not-for-profit organisation which brings together the peoples of Asia and Europe to address common global challenges by:

  • advancing mutual understanding and collaboration between the people of Asia and Europe through opportunities that enable an exchange of ideas;
  • acting 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;
  • acting 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: 

We promote cultural relations by connecting artists, cultural professionals, arts organisations, public institutions, networks and museums in Asia and Europe. We respond to current gaps in cultural cooperation between Asia and Europe by providing access to information, facilitating cultural mobility and promoting artistic diversity. At ASEM Summits and ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meetings (ASEMFMMs), we make cultural collaborations visible to the public and policymakers. At ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meetings (ASEMCMMs), we bring the voice of the arts community to the policy level. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Culture.
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.
We connect the youth, students, teachers & educators, higher education & EdTech experts with policy makers from 51 countries across Asia and Europe. Our projects contribute towards Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and innovation in formal and informal education through technology. We organise projects that contribute to inclusive & equitable access across all education sectors and engage civil society and government stakeholders in interdisciplinary and lifelong learning opportunities to enhance quality education. Further, we bring the voice of the youth into the ASEM Process and facilitate a structured dialogue between young people and ASEM Leaders and Foreign Ministers. We contribute to the ASEM Education Process and the agenda of the ASEM Education Ministers’ Meetings (ASEMMEs). For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Education.
We promote informal, open and non-confrontational dialogue between civil society and government representatives, particularly in human rights. We also make concrete and practical contributions to the ASEM process by providing a tailored capacity-building training for early-/mid-career diplomats and government officials engaged in public diplomacy efforts. Our work in human rights and public diplomacy complement ASEM’s political pillar, a key element of the ASEM Process. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Governance

We engage media industry stakeholders in annual events enabling a diverse exchange of perspectives. We also facilitate dialogue and cooperation by managing ASEF’s multiple online platforms that aim to increase awareness of ASEF and its projects spanning all thematic areas. In serving both purposes of our department’s dual nature, we manage ASEM’s official information platform, the ASEMInfoBoard For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Media.


We engage civil society, governments, and businesses on national, regional, and international levels to build capacity on issues of sustainability. We organise workshops, dialogue platforms, and knowledge hub meetings that produce research on the state of sustainability in Asia and Europe. We align our work with the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and contribute to the global debate on climate change through the ASEM Process. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Sustainable Development.

We engage governments, international organisations and civil society to share best practices and lessons learned on public health issues related to infectious diseases, including risk communication for public health emergencies. We facilitate capacity-building and knowledge-sharing platforms that result in publications with recommended solutions for common public health challenges to combat future pandemics. We are part of the ASEM Initiative for Rapid Containment of Pandemic Influenza that supports pandemic preparedness and response across Asia and Europe. For more information about our activities in this area, read more about ASEF's work in Public Health.
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