The Second Senior Officials’ Meeting and the Seventh ASEM Education Ministers’ Minister under the theme “Connecting education: inclusion, mobility and excellence in support of the Sustainable Development Goals” was successfully organised from 14 to 15 May 2019 at the Palace of Parliament, Bucharest, Romania. The meeting was hosted by the Romanian Ministry of National Education in conjunction with its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in close cooperation with the ASEM Education Secretariat Belgium. The ASEMME7 meeting with 165 participants from 39 ASEM partners and 10 stakeholders endorsed two important political documents: the Conclusions by the Chair and Bucharest Statement.
ASEMME7 became another landmark of the ASEM education cooperation in the second decade by presenting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and Digitalisation as the two transversal themes within the four thematic priority areas of the ASEM Education Process. ASEMME7 also witnesses the productive participation and full commitment of Senior Officials and Ministers during both meetings for the progress of ASEM education cooperation between Asia and Europe.
These are the main results of the ASEMME7:
- Inclusion of 2 transversal themes within the 4 priority areas of the ASEM Education Process: Sustainable Development and Digitalisation;
- Agreement on the need for systematic exchange of information and close interaction between the ASEM Education Process and the overall ASEM Process, between the ASEM Education Process and EU’s Asia-Europe Strategy and EU programmes and between ASEM Education and other multilateral cooperation programmes;
- Agreement on the need for better visibility of the ASEM Education Process: both within the overall ASEM process as within the field multilateral cooperation;
- Continuous efforts and support of ASEM partners and stakeholders to implement initiatives under the four thematic priority areas: further implementation of existing 24 initiatives and projects and 7 new initiatives by the ASEM partners and stakeholders;
- Commitment of the University College Cork, Ireland to take over ASEM LLL Hub to revitalise the Lifelong Learning Research Network to develop evidence-based policy recommendations in the field of Lifelong Learning;
- Agreement to develop a strategy paper on the ASEM Education Process Strategy and Vision 2030 and to establish a Standing Working Group to support AES in this development process and monitoring of the Strategy and Vision 2030;
- Agreement on the establishment of Expert Group on the transversal theme of ‘Digitalisation’ as proposed by Germany;
- Commitment of India to become a new contributing member of the ASEM-DUO Fellowship Programme and the ASEM Work Placement Programme (WPP);
- Commitment of India to host ISOM in Spring 2020, Germany to host SOM1 in autumn 2020 and Thailand to host SOM2 and ASEMME8 in 2021;
- Finally, the Ministers invited all Asian ASEM partner to host the ASEM Education Secretariat from 2021 to 2025.