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ASEM is a forum of partnership cooperation and informal dialogue between Europe and Asia. Its key objectives are to preserve and strengthen peace and stability and establish conditions for the economic and social development of both regions. These objectives also provide the basis for the three main pillars of the ASEM process (political dialogue, cooperation in the economy and finance, cooperation in the field of social, cultural and educational affairs). In this respect, its key tasks include disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, the fight against organised crime and terrorism, the reduction of pollution, the elimination of poverty, cultural heritage protection, concern for sustainable economic and social development, the promotion of education and exchange of people, cooperation on science and technology, trade, investment and entrepreneurship, etc.

The ASEM process currently unites forty-five partners - all EU Member States and the European Commission, all ASEAN countries and the ASEAN Secretariat, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, India and Pakistan. In October 2004, five months after its accession to the EU, Slovenia became an ASEM partner at the 5th ASEM Summit in Vietnam.

The Heads of State and Government of the ASEM partners meet biannually. The meetings are hosted alternately by the Asian and European ASEM partners, while regular meetings of ministers of foreign affairs, economy, finance and the environment are held concurrently. Numerous seminars and workshops on migration, interreligious dialogue, terrorism, labour and employment, information and communication technology, contagious diseases, rural development, and human rights are also held concurrently. Meetings of parliamentarians (ASEP), young parliamentarians and young politicians are organised within the ASEM Political Pillar.

The Asia Europe Cooperation Framework 2000 (AECF 2000) is one of the most important documents adopted at the 3rd ASEM Summit, and  sets out the vision, principles, objectives, priorities and mechanisms of the ASEM process in the first decade of the new millennium.

More information on the ASEM process and current events is available at the website.