On both regional and bilateral levels, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been looking for a more equal partnership and a widening of the sectors covered by the 1980 Agreement with the EU. The emphasis has now shifted from aid to trade and economic cooperation, from a donor-recipient to an equal partner relationship. In this context, the Commission has just approved two important energy projects, COGEN and AEEMTRC, with a total financial allocation of ECU 10 million. One important area of cooperation for the years ahead is that of science and technology which will continue through the Fourth Framework Programme for research and technological development and demonstration (1994-1998). Several specific programmes, in addition to the specific programme for international cooperation, have provisions for the participation of EU non-Member States. The EU is supporting a number of projects in this context. In the area of the environmental protection, the EU has, for example, supported the creation of a "Biodiversity Centre" in the Philippines. In the area of human resource development (HRD), the cooperation agreement will highlight the setting-up of the ASEAN-EU Management Centre in Brunei, in May 1995, the prolongation of the scholarship programme and the creation of "Centres for European Studies" aimed at improving cultural exchange between the two trading blocks. The Commission has, in addition, just launched an EU-ASEAN inter-university co-operation programme including a co-operation network between ten universities across the two regions. Within the context of institutional cooperation, fundamental to this agreement, the EU has just approved the reinforcement of the ASEAN Secretariat and is analyzing the technical assistance to be offered in support of the AFTA process.
Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam