(Jakarta, 9 November 2009) A Ministerial Troika meeting between Indonesia and the European Union (EU) was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 9 November 2009, under the Co-chairs of H.E. Dr. Marty Natalegawa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of The Republic of Indonesia, and H.E. Mr. Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden and current holder of the Presidency of the council of the European Union. The EU Troika included Mr. Karel Kovanda, Acting Director-General, representing the European Commission and Ms. Helga Schmid, Director of Policy Unit, in the Council Secretariat of EU. Mr. Jose Eugenio Salarich Fernandez-Velderrama, Director General at the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, also attended as an observer, in his capacity as a representative of the incoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The Ministerial meeting marked the raising of the Indonesia-EU relations to a new level notably through the signature of a comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).
The Ministers discussed a number of bilateral issues, reflecting amongst others on the priorities of cooperation under the new PCA. They exchanged views on regional developments in Asia and Europe and discussed ways of addressing some pressing global challenges such as the financial and economic crisis, both the EU and Indonesia being an integral part of the G20, as well as joining forces in combating climate change in the perspective of the upcoming Conference in Copenhagen in December.
At the occasion of the Troika meeting, the government of Indonesia and the EU also launched a Human Rights Dialogue, reflecting their shared values in the field, and agreed that the Dialogue should be forward looking, constructive, and focused on concrete cooperation in the protection and promotion of human rights.
The EU congratulated President Yudhoyono on his re-election and lent its support to the new Indonesian government to move ahead in the reform and modernization process. It declared its solidarity with Indonesia after the disaster that struck Sumatera on 30 September 2009. The EU recalled it commitments to Indonesia and the region, exemplified through the cooperation gained in the framework of the Aceh Monitoring Mission in 2005-2006. Indonesia, on its part, expressed sincere appreciation for the contribution and assistance rendered by EU member countries and the EC in the wake of the aftermath of the Sumatera earthquakes. Moreover, Indonesia praised the EU for its continuous and endless support in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Aceh, and in its role as one of the key guarantor in the Aceh peace process.
Indonesia and the EU are looking forward to the full activation of cooperation possibilities under the new PCA and the prospect of a visit by President Yudhoyono to Europe.
The comprehensive Indonesia-EU Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) which was signed today is the first of its kind between the EU and ASEAN countries. It is a testimony to the rapidly growing importance of Indonesian-EU ties and opens a new era in bilateral relations, based on shared principles such as equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, democracy, rule of law and human rights.
The Agreement will strengthen political, economic and sectoral cooperation across a wide range of policy fields, including trade, environment, energy, science and technology, and good governance, as well as tourism and culture, migration, counter terrorism and the fight against corruption and organized crime. It will further enhance cooperation on global challenges, where both Indonesia and the EU are playing an increasingly important role such as in the G-20.
Through the establishment of a Joint Committee and a number of sectoral working groups, the PCA will steer cooperation and ensure a comprehensive and more intensive dialogue between Indonesia and EU. Findings and recommendations from the Joint Committee will feed in the meetings at Ministerial level.
The Government of Indonesia and the EU have identified the following priorities for immediate action from 2010:
Trade and Investment.
Indonesia and EU already enjoy a vibrant business relationship. Two-way trade exceeds 20 billion Euros and is growing by over 6% per year. The potential is considerable: Companies are investing heavily – with 750 European firms already investing in Indonesia and with Indonesian companies now beginning to invest in the EU. Through the new Agreement, new areas of cooperation will be explored, including on research and development, and a series of sectoral committees will help to identify opportunities and more rapidly defuse irritants in key sectors of commercial interest.
Climate change is a shared political priority for both Indonesia and the EU. Indonesia and the EU will use the new Agreement to boost cooperation in key environmentally sensitive areas, such as fisheries and forestry, while also seeking to build on their respective commitments based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, notably at the forthcoming summit in Copenhagen, to address emissions and to adapt to, and mitigate, the effects of climate change.
Indonesia and the EU will seek to boost co-operation in the education field through existing programmes, such as the Erasmus Mundus scholarship programme that funds Indonesian students to study in the EU, and through new initiatives, such as education fairs and cooperation on research and programmes.
Human Rights and Democracy.
Indonesia and the EU officially launched a human rights dialogue today with the goal of regularly discussing co-operation and issues of mutual interest related to human rights, including through annual meetings of senior officials.
(PSN|Source: Department of Foreign Affairs RI)