The ASEM Cultural Festival is an active manifestation of the ASEM philosophy and value to enhance collaboration and development among ASEM Partners. It is a concrete contribution to the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)’s cultural mission. At the same time, the Festival contributes to EU’s objectives of unlocking the potential of culture and creativity for sustainable social and economic development, promoting peace and fighting radicalisation through intercultural dialogue and strengthening cooperation on cultural heritage. The festival also aims to strengthen partnerships for sustainable connectivity, based on a respect for common rules, to the benefit of people in Europe and in Asia, in line with the EU connectivity Strategy with Asia.

The organising team includes the European Union (European External Action Service (EEAS) and European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI)) and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) along with the host organisation of the relevant ASEM Partner hosting the ASEM Summit/ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The host organisation plays a key role in organising each edition from conceptualising to implementing the various events featured in the Festival programme. For each edition, support is provided by embassies of ASEM Partners, cultural institutions, universities as well as local municipalities which helps to strengthen the programme and ensure a diverse representation of activities.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) is the European Union’s diplomatic service. Its role is to make sure the voice of the European Union and its people are heard in the world. A key aspect of the work of the EEAS is its ability to work closely with the foreign and defence ministries of the member states of the EU and the other EU institutions such as the European Commission, Council and Parliament. It also has a strong working relationship with the United Nations and other International Organisations.

The European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) was set up in January 2010, at the same time as the European External Action Service (EEAS). FPI reports directly to the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles. It works hand-in-hand with all Commission services and coordinates closely with the EEAS and EU Delegations on a daily basis. It puts EU foreign policy into action − fast and flexibly − in a policy-driven approach. It acts as first responder to foreign policy needs and opportunities, focusing on conflict prevention and peace, building alliances and leveraging the EU’s influence in the world. The Service plays a central role in implementing the European Commission’s political priorities in line with the EU’s Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) promotes understanding, strengthens relationships and facilitates cooperation among the people, institutions and organisations of Asia and Europe. ASEF enhances dialogue, enables exchanges and encourages collaboration across the thematic areas of culture, education, governance, economy, sustainable development, public health and media. ASEF is an intergovernmental not-for-profit organisation located in Singapore. Founded in 1997, it is the only institution of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). ASEF runs more than 25 projects a year, consisting of around 100 activities, mainly conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures, publications, and online platforms, together with about 150 partner organisations.

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