Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union, European Parliament, head of the unit, Niccolo Rinaldi, said, “Multilateral cooperation and a strong Europe-Asia relationship is crucial for the global recovery. We believe it is important for all our Asian partners to work together to ‘build back better’ in a greener, digital, sustainable and inclusive way in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic’.
He was speaking at the inaugural programme of a Winter School on ‘EU-Asia Relations in a Multipolar World’ jointly organised by the Manipal Centre for European Studies (MCES), a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, and Nordic Centre in India, at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal.
Rinaldi also acknowledged the importance of collaboration and exchange between the EU member states and Asian countries in the education process.
He stressed the critical role of universities like Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) as interlocutors of strengthening the EU’s ties with Asia.
He emphasised the Indo-Pacific region, highlighting its increasing importance reflects in the EU’s strategy for cooperation with the region.
“We are already a top investor in the Indo-Pacific. Moreover, we are also the top development cooperation and trading partner in Asia. We have decided to reinforce our strategic focus, presence and actions with the region. Our new EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific sends a strong political signal,” said Rinaldi.
Speaking on the occasion, European Union Centre in Singapore, director, Dr Yeo Lay Hwee emphasised the importance of partnership between Asia and Europe in strengthening multilateralism.
She stressed the urgent need to uphold the international order based on rules and principles of international law with the United Nations at its core to address global and regional challenges.
She also noted the importance of confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy in contributing to peace and stability and reaffirmed the principles of mutual respect, mutual understanding, mutual interest and the renunciation of the use of force and the threat of using force in international relations.
Manipal Centre of European Studies (MCES), head, Dr Neeta Inamdar, highlighted the importance of enhancing Asia-Europe connectivity, which has political and economic aspects and socio-cultural links with people-to-people aspects.