During his state visit to Tokyo, Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Jean Asselborn today gave a speech on “The Past, Present and Future of the European Union” at Sophia University.
In his speech on 28 November 2017, on the 90th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between Luxembourg and Japan, Minister Asselborn presented the origins and historical processes involved in the EU to students and guests at the Japanese university.
Jean Asselborn first focused on the EU’s history as a peacekeeper on the European continent before addressing the worrying prospect of war in Korea today. He also spoke of the economic aspects of the EU such as the common currency, as well as political elements such as the freedom of movement. He ended this part with a presentation of Luxembourg’s relationship with the EU, highlighting advantages such as the creation of the Central Bank following the establishment of the Euro and its being home to other central European institutions.
Regarding current EU affairs, Asselborn discussed challenges such as the refugee crisis, terrorism and climate change, in addition to Brexit negotiations. He then turned to the future of the Union, evoking a feeling of optimism in light of recent French election results despite the increasing presence of populism across Europe.
On an international level, the Foreign Minister highlighted the EU’s importance in promoting democracy and human rights protection and in the fight against global warming. Additionally, he spoke of the specific links with Japan, with whom the EU recently made an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for bilateral trade.