Joint statement of 6 December 2021 on the detention of ASSK in Myanmar

Myanmar: Leading MEPs call on the junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi from detention and to restore democracy

Joint statement on Aung San Suu Kyi's court sentence from the Chairs of the Committees on Foreign Affairs and of the Delegation for relations with South-East Asia and ASEAN

The Chairs of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs David McAllister (EPP, DE) and of the Delegation on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Daniel Caspary (EPP, DE) condemned the sentences of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint to two years of detention. They called for the immediate and unconditional release of both politicians and all political prisoners, the start of a national reconciliation process and the restoration of democracy, underlined both Chairs in their Statement.

DASE Chair Daniel Caspary underlines the communalities between the EU and ASEAN, 29 October 2021

As the 38th ASEAN summit just concluded, under the chairmanship of Brunei-Darussalam, MEP Daniel Caspary, Chair of the European Parliament's ASEAN Delegation, welcomed the fact that the Southeast Asian bloc reaffirmed its "belief that regionalism and multilateralism are important principles and frameworks of cooperation, and that their strengths and values lie in their open, inclusive, transparent and rules-based nature and emphasis on mutual benefit and respect".

"The EU and the European Parliament in the first place are firm and vocal defenders of multilateralism and open global dialogue, and this communality with ASEAN can only help bring us closer to each other," said Daniel Caspary.

On Myanmar, Chair Caspary reiterated that not inviting the junta to the summit was a bold and encouraging step. He welcomed the wish expressed by the nine to finally implement the five-point consensus of last April. "Time is of essence as millions continue to suffer unfairly in Myanmar under the illegitimate junta ".

Daniel Caspary said he looks forward to the ASEAN-EU summit in Brussels in 2022 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations. "I wish to see and participate in a strong parliamentary dimension of this important event ," he concluded.

Tweet on the EU's new Indo-Pacific Strategy, 17 September 2021

The Chair of the Parliament's ASEAN delegation, Daniel Caspary, fully supports the EU's new Indo-Pacific Strategy and it's goal to reinforce cooperation with multilateral and regional organisations such as ASEAN, a promising groundwork for our joint way ahead.

Joint Press Release EP-AIPA, 22 June 2021

EP-AIPA Dialogue 22-6-2021
22-6 Caspary (2).jpg © Bettina Sturm / EP
EP-AIPA Dialogue 22-6-2021
22-6 AIPA SG Van (2).jpg © Bettina Sturm / EP
Members of the European Parliament and from the ASEAN region agree to closer and deeper EU-ASEAN exchanges at parliamentary level

The European Parliament (EP) and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) convened the Inaugural Inter-Regional Parliamentary Dialogue on Tuesday, 22 June 2021. Held virtually, the dialogue discussed two issues that are shared by and most relevant for both regions: The Future of EU-ASEAN Trade Relations, and Mitigating the Negative Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Joint Statement with the Indonesian Parliament on Myanmar, 11 May 2021

On Tuesday 11 May 2021, the Chairs of the Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia (BKSAP) and the Delegation for Relations with the Countries of Southeast Asia and ASEAN (DASE) of the European Parliament held a virtual meeting. Focus of the discussion was the current situation in Myanmar with proposals for concrete steps to be taken, see joint statement attached.

The meeting was introduced by EU Head of Delegation to Indonesia, Ambassador Vincent Piket. Besides DASE Chair Daniel Caspary, Vice-President Heidi Hautala attended the meeting for the European Parliament. From the Indonesian side, participants were Hon. Dr Sihar Sitorus, Hon. Dr. Mardani Ali Sera and Hon. Mr. Achmad Hafisz Tohir (all Vice Chairs of the Committee).

Leading MEPs on latest developments in Myanmar, 9 March 2021

Leading MEPs met with representatives of the Parliament of Myanmar

Vice President Heidi Hautala (Greens, FI)
MEP Hannah Neumann (Greens, DE)
MEP Svenja Hahn (Renew, DE)
MEP Anna Fotyga (ECR, PL)

Today, they issued the following statement:

"Having followed the developments in Myanmar since the coup of 1 February with great concern, we were relieved to hear that through challenges of varying degrees and danger, the elected representatives in Myanmar are dedicated to continuing their work. They deserve our admiration for their courage and commitment to the fundamental principles of democracy.

Time for further targeted sanctions is now. The military and their business entities must not be able to benefit from any inflows or outflows of trade with European enterprises, be it directly or indirectly. The lives of ordinary people must, however, be shielded from these restrictive actions as much as possible.

Sanctions alone will not resolve the political crisis. The democratic actors in Myanmar need our support. Those threatened need protection. Communication channels and platforms between the CRPH (national legislative body representing elected members of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the Assembly of the Union) and the people of Myanmar must be kept open; the CRPH is doing all it can to reach out to the public in large. Obviously, there is no justification for digital blackouts.

The country's civil disobedience movement demands freedom and justice for all. Their sacrifice and courage is deeply humbling. A movement of this kind as well as the civil society are key ingredients in a resilient, fair and open society. They have our full support.

We are, furthermore, committed to supporting the CRPH's ongoing work to restore democracy and the respect for the rule of law in Myanmar by non-violent means and to lending them support in every way it is possible for us."

On 5 March, the leading MEPs met with Ms Daw Zinmar Aung and other members of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), reiterating the European Parliament's request for targeted sanctions against the military and support to the democratic actors in Myanmar.

Coup in Myanmar: Joint Statement by AFET, DEVE and DASE Chairs, 1 February 2021

The Chairs of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs David McAllister (EPP, DE), the Committee on Development Tomas Tobé (EPP, SV) and of the Delegation on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Daniel Caspary (EPP, DE) condemned last night's coup by the military (Tatmadaw) in Myanmar. They called for President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and all others who have been arrested to be swiftly and unconditionally released. The legitimate civilian government must be immediately restored and the parliament reopened, warn the Chairs in their Statement.

Statement Daniel Caspary, Vorsitzender, zum RCEP-Handelsabkommen, 16. November 2020

Zum neuen Handelsabkommen der ASEAN-Staaten mit China, Japan, Südkorea, Australien und Neuseeland (RCEP) erklärt Daniel Caspary (CDU), Vorsitzender der CDU/CSU-Gruppe sowie Vorsitzender der ASEAN-Delegation im Europaparlament:

„Das RCEP-Handelsabkommen stellt für Europa eine große Gefahr dar: Beim Handel zwischen den teilnehmenden Staaten werden nicht nur Zölle weitgehend abgeschafft, sondern die Länder haben sich gleichzeitig auch darauf verständigt, bei künftigen Standards zusammenarbeiten zu wollen. Genau das hatten die USA und die EU im TTIP-Abkommen angestrebt. Nun sind uns die Chinesen zuvorgekommen.

Der wesentliche Treiber hinter dem Handelsabkommen mit den pazifischen Staaten war China. Nicht nur wegen seiner Größe und dem ausgehandelten Abbau von Zöllen, legt das Abkommen den Finger in die Wunde: Die brüske Abkehr der USA, die mit dem TPP-Abkommen den Pazifikraum handelspolitisch an den Westen binden wollten, macht einmal mehr deutlich, dass ein handelspolitisches Vakuum nicht ungefüllt bleibt. Gemeinsam mit unseren westlichen Partnern haben wir unnötig handelspolitischen Boden verloren. Diese Einladung konnte sich China nicht entgehen lassen. Die Lektionen für uns Europäer sind klar: Wir müssen an unserem konsequenten und erfolgreichen Kurs der letzten Jahre, in denen wir Handelsabkommen in der Region mit Japan, Südkorea, Vietnam und Singapur geschlossen haben, festhalten. Insbesondere sollten wir ein übergreifendes Handelsabkommen zwischen den beiden Regionen EU und ASEAN anstreben.

Zudem müssen wir Abkommen wie mit den Mercosur-Staaten ratifizieren und in Kraft setzen. Lieber etwas erreichen als gar nichts - muss die Devise sein. Und unter einem neuen US-Präsidenten Joe Biden müssen wir dringend eine gemeinsame transatlantische Agenda als Gegengewicht zu China ambitioniert neu aufstellen. Die EU-Kommission und der Rat müssen schnell ein substantielles Angebot an die USA unter ihrem künftigen Präsidenten Biden und sein Team machen."

Für weitere Informationen:Daniel Caspary MdEP, Tel. +32 228 45978

Strengthening parliamentary cooperation with ASEAN, 14 September 2020

MEP Daniel Caspary: Strengthen parliamentary diplomacy between the European Parliament and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly

At the General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), which took place last week in Vietnam, MEP Daniel Caspary (EPP, DE) underlined the European Parliament's intention to strengthen parliamentary relations with the ASEAN Parliaments. The Chair of the Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the ASEAN proposed to hold one annual inter-regional meeting on specific policy issues of joint concern.

Chair Caspary underlined the important role of parliamentary diplomacy in the Parliament's relations with third countries and international organisations, alongside classical diplomacy. Parliamentarians constitute the link between executives and citizens. An annual inter-regional meeting with AIPA would allow for a more structured dialogue between the European Parliament and AIPA with the aim of developing targeted fields of cooperation between both sides.

In times of hardship, Mr Caspary stated, such as the current situation the world is experiencing with the Covid-19 pandemic, priority should be given to solidarity and cooperation. Both the EU and ASEAN have demonstrated that regional cooperation and solidarity are of the utmost importance to help and support their people, societies and economies. Beyond that, the European Union decided to mobilise a "Team Europe" package of over €800 million for the ASEAN region. The funds will support actions at country and regional level to address the immediate health crisis, strengthen health, water and sanitation systems, as well as mitigate the socio-economic impact.

The Chair of the ASEAN Delegation also emphasised that in times of geopolitical volatility and unpredictability, where the post-World War II international order is challenged, the EU and ASEAN are key factors of stability. Both believe in a rules-based multilateralism as opposed to the law of the strongest. Therefore, they must strengthen their own regional entities and enhance their relations based on common interests and shared values.

Key areas of cooperation, Mr Caspary continued, are trade and investment. The ultimate goal remains to establish a region-to-region Free Trade Agreement, building on the existing agreements with Singapore and Vietnam. Beyond trade and investment, the European Union aims at upgrading the EU-ASEAN relations to a Strategic Partnership covering areas such as political and security cooperation, as well as integration, connectivity, mobility, education and culture. The potential for greater engagement is enormous. The EU and ASEAN can make a difference with global impact.

The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) is a regional parliamentary organisation. It was originally formed in 1977 and serves as the centre of communication and information among ASEAN Member Parliaments. AIPA aims to encourage understanding, cooperation, and close relations among Member Parliaments as well as Observer Member Parliaments and other parliamentary organiszations. AIPA also plays an instrumental role in familiarising the peoples of Southeast Asia with policies aimed at accelerating the realization of an ASEAN Community.

The highest body in AIPA is the General Assembly, which convenes once a year. The General Assembly is held to provide policy directions for the development of AIPA's objectives and as a forum for interchange of its members. The European Parliament has observer status and attends each year. The 41st AIPA General Assembly, at which Members of the European Parliament participated remotely, took place from 8-10 September in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The disappearance of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, 26 June 2020

MEPs call on Cambodian and Thai authorities to investigate the destiny of Thai human rights activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit
Not the first case of enforced disappearance in the region
Freedom of expression and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms must be ensured

Leading MEPs ask for clarifications on the abduction of Thai human rights activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Cambodia.
Following the recent disappearance of Thai human rights activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Cambodia, MEPs Heidi Hautala (The Greens/EFA, FI), Maria Arena (S&D, BE) and Daniel Caspary (EPP, DE) issued the following statement on Friday:

"We are very concerned about the safety of Thai political activist and human rights advocate Wanchalearm Satsaksit who recently disappeared in Phnom Penh. Therefore, we call on the Cambodian and Thai authorities to immediately investigate his abduction. We recall that the abduction constitutes a grave violation of the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. National authorities must ensure that such crimes are effectively investigated and that those responsible are brought to justice. We are furthermore concerned about reports of the exchange of political dissidents by authorities in the ASEAN region. It is imperative under international law to respect the principle of non-refoulement. Thus, we urge all relevant authorities to ensure that the rights of those individuals seeking shelter in their countries are respected and that their safety is guaranteed. The freedom of expression is an essential part of these rights. It entails the right to express peacefully dissenting voices."

Heidi Hautala is Vice-President of the European Parliament, in charge of Human Rights, Democracy and the Sakharov Prize Community.

Maria Arena is the Chair of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights.

Daniel Caspary is the Chair of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

According to information gathered by Human Rights Watch, Mr Satsaksit was kidnapped on 4 June by a group of armed men in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Mr. Satsaksit, an activist affiliated with the pro-democracy United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, known as the "Red Shirt" movement, fled to Cambodia after the May 2014 military coup in Thailand. Having criticised the Thai Government and the Prime Minister, the Thai authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in 2018.
On 3 June, one day before his disappearance, he posted a video clip on Facebook criticizing the Thai Prime Minister.

The U.N. Committee on Enforced Disappearances has called on Cambodia to "urgently search" for Mr. Satsaksit.
Before his disappearance, at least eight other exiled Thai dissidents had disappeared in Laos and Vietnam.