Yeo Lay Hwee


The following chapter continues several of this book’s major themes, by investigating the inter-regional dimension of EU-Asia relations, and by examining the European Union’s relationship with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). This section also offers a critical evaluation of the Union’s role in the process of Asia-Europe meetings (ASEM). In the course of this chapter, the author interrogates the changing identities and dynamics of both these fora, and provides an in-depth look at the parallel challenges and institutional developments they both face, for instance through processes of further consolidation and constitutionalisation. This chapter also offers a thorough contextualisation of these two key channels of Asia-Europe interaction, by means of an analysis of the widely debated, and contested, concepts of ‘regionalism’ and ‘inter-regionalism’. This includes a critical assessment of the ‘people-to-people’ dimension of Asia-Europe relations, and of social-constructivist approaches to the relations. The section closes with a perceptive analysis of the reality and the potential of ASEM.