The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is an international, non-profit organization based in Singapore that was established in 1997 by the countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The aim of the Foundation is to promote better mutual understanding between Asia and Europe through greater intellectual, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
In its first decade of operation, ASEF has implemented over 310 projects, which have brought together more than 13,500 direct participants and reached out to an even wider audience in the countries of Asia and Europe. The projects covers a variety of subjects, including human rights and environment.
Besides its Executive Office and the Finance & Administration Department, ASEF is composed of four operational departments:
Intellectual Exchange programme aims to bring together representatives from civil society in its broadest sense, including the business sector, and government officials to contribute to the creation of networks and to policy debate and strategic thinking on themes including international relations, environment, governance (including human rights, justice and democracy), and intercultural/interfaith dialogue.
Cultural Exchange programme seeks to provide young artists and cultural professionals with a platform to encourage the exchange of techniques and the creation of networks, and promote cultural policy development in Asia and Europe.
People-to-People Exchange programme seeks to strengthen youth networks, in particular among the next generation of leaders. Activities cover two main areas: educational exchanges, and cooperation and dialogues between youth and their organisations (e.g. Asia-Europe Young Political Leaders Symposium and Asia-Europe Young Entrepreneurs Forum).
Public Affairs programme provides publicity and press support for ASEF activities and seeks to raise public awareness of issues pertaining to Asia-Europe relations through media activities, such as TV documentaries, public lectures, the use of the Internet (the ASEM Infoboard
), publication of newsletters and the academic Asia-Europe Journal