Consultations with ASEAN on transnational crime
On 24-26 June the annual ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) took place in Brunei Darussalam. The meeting offered an opportunity for separate consultations for the EU and the other ASEAN dialogue partners, notably to understand ASEAN priorities and to explore areas of cooperation.
At this year’s EU-SOMTC meeting the EEAS was represented by Mrs Joelle Jenny, Director for Security Policy and Conflict Prevention (co-chair) and Mr Andreas List, EU Senior Coordinator for ASEAN. Vietnam co-chaired the meeting on the ASEAN side. The meeting covered: CBRN Risk Mitigation (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear), maritime security, border management, human and drug trafficking, cybercrime, countering violent extremism, and small arms smuggling.
With regard to CBRN risk mitigation, ASEAN partners commended the work of the EU Regional Centre of Excellence for Southeast Asia. Its 19 projects implemented so far covered preparedness, detection and crisis response; strengthening of national frameworks; and export controls. The EU and ASEAN also agreed to launch the planned border management programme and to strengthen cooperation, in particular on human trafficking, cybercrime and the countering of violent extremism.
An EU-SOMTC Work Plan is being developed to harmonise EU support in these areas with the ASEAN blueprint for the Political-Security Community. The next EU-SOMTC consultations are scheduled to take place in June 2015 in Cambodia.
Intellectual Property will be better protected in the ASEAN region
On 26-28 May 2014, the ten ASEAN Intellectual Property Offices, the European Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Commission met in Spain to explore ways to better protect Intellectual Property. The meeting was organised by ECAP III, the EU-ASEAN Project on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, guided by the implementing agency, OHIM.
The Heads of the ASEAN IP Offices and OHIM looked at innovations regarding IP office management and the provision of trademark and industrial design services to the business community, and developed strategies for further IP cooperation between ASEAN and OHIM.
Following the meeting all ASEAN IP offices are to cooperate with OHIM to create a stronger IP environment in the ASEAN region. More efforts are needed in the pursuit of the effective protection of industrial property rights, especially trademarks and designs. Likewise, effective approaches shall create favourable conditions for the protection and use of those rights, the development of new IP management tools, and the adoption of good practices.
For additional information on this activity or the ECAP project, we invite you to visit the ECAP website at www.ecap3.org.
New ASEAN Centre to assess health risks, and new procedures for food safety controls.
From 9 to 11 June 2014 the 9th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD) was held in Chiang Rai, Thailand. During the meeting, the establishment of an ASEAN Risk Assessment Centre (ARAC) and its terms of reference were endorsed. The 9th SOMHD also tasked the ASEAN Experts Group on Food Safety (AEGFS) to develop operationalization procedures.
AEGFS has been working to develop an ASEAN RISK Assessment Mechanism. The EU-funded project ‘ASEAN Regional Integration Support by the EU’ (ARISE) funded a workshop for ASEAN Member States to discuss the potential role, terms of reference, and activities of such a mechanism. The recommendations from this workshop were presented to the 10th AEGFS meeting on 3-5 December 2013. During the meeting consensus was reached to establish an ASEAN Risk Assessment Mechanism through an ASEAN Risk Assessment Centre.
Subsequently, ARISE in conjunction with DG SANCO organised a study tour for senior ASEAN officials to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from 7 to 11 April 2014. Participants were able to study and observe how the EU manages its risk assessment activities. This directly led to the refinement of the ToR’s for the ASEAN Risk Assessment Centre (ARAC), which were presented at the 9th SOMHD meeting and subsequently endorsed. Malaysia who is lead country for this initiative, has agreed to host ARAC.
EU-ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project (AATIP) delivers results
On 5th May 2014 the 3rd Steering Committee meeting of the ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project (AATIP) was held in Yangon. During the meeting, the project team presented the achievements and challenges of the first year of AATIP, and proposed the way forward for the second implementation year.
Concrete achievements in the project are in particular in the field of Air Traffic Management and Aviation Safety – the AATIP methodology that was approved in the first Steering Committee has started to deliver results. Year 2 of the implementation phase will continue and develop the activities initiated in Year 1. It may also address other needs if requested by the ASEAN Secretariat and Member States.
AATIP assists the region in establishing a single aviation market within ASEAN. The overall objective of AATIP is to contribute towards sustainable ASEAN economic growth and the integration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), through the development of the civil air transport sector by developing the institutional frameworks and strengthening institutional capacities within ASEAN. The project also helps to achieve a safe, secure and sustainable ASEAN Single Aviation Market based on high regulatory standards.
READI fosters two pilot networks of excellence on Green Energy and Food Security
Since 2013 the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI) has been fostering two pilot networks of excellence, which conduct joint research among institutes from different ASEAN Member States. The joint research focuses on areas considered by the ASEAN Plan of Action in Science and Technology as priorities – Green Energy and Food Security. Until 2015 READI will provide the networks with expertise from international researchers, support researchers’ mobility among the network partners, and assist in the organisation of workshops and conferences.
ASEAN Network of Excellence on Green Energy Research (ANEGER)
In May 2014 one of these networks – the ‘ASEAN Network of Excellence on Green Energy Research’ (ANEGER) – held its second meeting in Kuala Lumpur. ANEGER deals with biofuels and bioeconomy in Southeast Asia and brings together labs from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Participants exchange expertise on the status quo of biofuels research and technology. Noteworthy was a brief by a European expert on research funding and intensified cooperation with Europe.
At the kick-off meeting in November 2013 in Bangkok the partners had developed a work plan for the ANEGER project. This includes, among other things, the preparation of lab profiles, a website and a brochure, the appointment of a country directory, a state-of-the-art review and the identification of research funding opportunities.
Companion Modelling Pilot Network of Excellence in Food Security (ComMod)
A second network – the ‘Companion Modelling Pilot Network of Excellence in Food Security’ (ComMod) held its second meeting in March 2014 in Hanoi, after a kick-off meeting in January 2014 in Bangkok. The network applies the so-called OneHealth approach to the area of animal health and food security. OneHealth refers to a multidisciplinary and comprehensive perspective on health related issues and understands animal, human and environmental health as interrelated.
During the first meeting, ComMod network partners engaged in an interactive workshop that provided partner introductions, conceptual discussions and a test case for the participatory companion modelling approach. Southeast Asian and European experts in food security, biodiversity and companion modelling facilitated the workshop. At the second ComMod meeting, the group applied the companion modelling supported OneHealth approach to the challenge of surveillance of the Highly Patogen Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the Red River Delta.