The rising protectionism worldwide and, more specifically, the political antics of the incumbent U.S. President, Donald Trump, have given strong momentum to what some observers have already called “Europe’s Asia Pivot”. Furthermore, Brexit means that the European Union is facing an at least partial economic disintegration. Against this backdrop it is all the more important to find new partners and to strengthen or reorient relations with old partners, Asia being one of them.
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) with currently 53 members already gives European-Asian relations an institution that would lend itself to this purpose, since the promotion of economic cooperation is an important pillar in the ASEM process. This Focus Paper argues that in the future, Asia and Europe could make greater use of this platform in order to further expand the framework conditions for European-Asian trade and investment relations.