What is AESCON?

AESCON is a meeting place for discussion on Asia-Europe sustainable connectivity, bringing together policy analysts, government representatives, the private sector and other stakeholders, with a particular focus on Asia-Europe connections.
The second edition of Asia-Europe Sustainable Connectivity Scientific Conference (AESCON2) built on the success and recommendations of the first AESCON held in September 2020. The online conference was organised after and as a following of the ASEM Summit (ASEM13) in Cambodia in November 2021. Thematically, the conference focused on one key subsect of connectivity: digital connectivity, which is high on the ASEM agenda and an EU priority.
Next to a high-level opening session, key policy priorities of digital connectivity were discussed in four thematic sessions: (1) secure, resilient and responsible digital infrastructure; (2) norms and standards for Trusted Connectivity; (3) digital connectivity for development; and (4) opportunities in the digital economy, as well as in the closing panel on the multi-stakeholder approach to digital connectivity. If you missed it, you can stil watch the recordings here or read the five Policy Briefs you can find below.

Five Policy Briefs present the main findings and policy recommendations of the various AESCON panels of the conference held in November 2021. The series is edited by Maaike Okano-Heijmans and Brigitte Dekker of the Clingendael Institute, and includes the following pieces:

1. Multistakeholderism: the path to human-centred digital connectivity
By Maaike Okano-Heijmans and Vanshika Shah of the Clingendael Institute, The Hague

2. Secure and resilient digital infrastructure: an agenda for Europe and Asia-Pacific 
By Priyadarshini D of Carnegie India, New Delhi

3. Putting trust back in trusted connectivity: a call for more congruence in cross-border data transfers
By Priyadarshini D of Carnegie India, New Delhi

4. Digital connectivity and opportunities for development cooperation between Asia and Europe
By Fabian Hohmann, Christina Stansell, and Elisabeth Gager of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Bonn, by GIZ, Bonn

5. Linking digital trajectories: Asia’s and Europe’s opportunities in the digital economy

By Karthik Nachiappan of the Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore