ATTAC-Denmark, ”ASEM4People” and the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Copenhagen
The 23rd and 24th of September a number of Heads of State from the European Union and the 10 Asian member states of Asia Europe Meetings (ASEM) will meet in Copenhagen. This is the fourth session of the ASEM process, founded originally, though this is not part of the official rhetoric, as a countermove to the APEC.
Though the ASEM is not based on a comprehensive set of economic agreements, the ASEM is being used, particularly by the EU, to promote neoliberal globalisation. A number of steps are being taken by the EU to promote the interests of European TNC’s.
A strong symbol of corporate power can be identified within the structure of the ASEM itself. Among the important components is the Asia Europe Business Forum, set up to ensure the direct input from business to the official discussions. For now, the business forum has direct access to the meetings of the Economic and Finance Minsters Meetings of the ASEM which again gives them a fair chance to influence the meeting among heads of state as well.
Little is known at this stage about the agenda of the Summit. On the economic side this will in part be defined by the meeting among Ministers of Economy and Finance shortly before the Summit. Some points on the agenda has for a long time been selfevident to the Danish Foreign Ministry, first and foremost the WTO. It should be expected that the EU will use the ASEM to promote its agenda for the WTO, including investment liberalisation (ie. more rights to corporations) to the benefit of TNC’s.
This is the reason why ATTAC-Denmark has two thematic priorities for the events during the ASEM:
1. To expose the corporations at play at official summits, meaning the AEBF
2. To expose and denounce the attempts to promote the interests of TNC’s, including the WTO-strategy of the EU and the drive for privatisations under the GATS.
ATTAC-Denmark, september 2002