The 2017’s ASEAN-EU international days in Phnom Penh

The Henri Capitant Association of the Friends of the French Legal Culture and its Cambodian branch in Cambodia (Henri Capitant Cambodia) has organized, with the valuable support of the Foundation for Continental Law (“FDC“) and a symposium around the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN“) and the European Union ( “EU“) issues on 30 and 31 October 2017 at the Raffles Le Royal Hotel in Phnom Penh (Cambodia).

During those two days, leading figures from the world of politics, law and academic circles coming from various countries of the EU and of the ASEAN have given thoughts to:

  • the comparison between those two organizations: the ASEAN being composed of 10 countries with various political, economic, linguistic and cultural traditions and the EU which has a greater and longer experience of composing with various cultural traditions;
  • the strengthening of the relations between those two regional sets.

Four round tables to discuss those specific issues, in all of their aspects, have been set up under the guardianship of leading figures of the two organizations. ASEAN and EU experts (lawyers, notaries, jurists, professors and ambassadors) have contributed to the discussions.

 Furthermore, we had the honor to receive the Minister of Foreign Affairs and of International Cooperation, H. E. Mr. Prak Sokhon; the EU Ambassador, Mr. George Edgar; the French Ambassador, Mrs. Eva Nguyen Binh; and the President of the Scientific Board of the FDC, Pr. Michel Grimaldi; who have introduced those two days.

The first round-table, under the moderation of S.E. Dr. Sok Siphana, Advisor to Royal Government of Cambodia and managing partner of Sok Siphana & Associates, has presented the political dimension of ASEAN, focusing on its creation, its development, its goals as well as its integration into the world concert.

The second round-table has raised the legal dimension of ASEAN, under the leadership of Pr. Marie Goré, professor at Paris II University – Panthéon Assas, and has focused on ASEAN mutations since the entry into force of the Charter of 2007, as for its opening to new States and its prospects for further integration into this international organization.

The third round-table composed of experts was about the economic dimension of ASEAN and was animated by Pr. Laurence Idot, professor at University Paris II-Panthéon Assas. Liberalization and trading were at the heart of the discussion.

Ultimately, the last round-table, led by the Professor Michel Trochu, honorary President of Tours University, has outlined the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Union, signed in December, 2015, which could be presented as a concrete example of the issues mentioned during the previous round-tables.

This event, which targeed a large public, interested the political, legal and economic stakeholders concerned by the ASEAN evolution, who were invited to play a part in the talks and to encourage debate through exchange sessions with the round tables experts.

The round tables interventions and the meetings of experts were certainly a strong basis for reflection and might positively impact the future of the Asian regional organization. This would be a step among other initiatives to encourage the cooperation of ASEAN and UE.

The team of Henri Capitant Cambodia