Since the first ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) in 1996, Asia and Europe have had regular meetings to discuss various issues and challenges to both the regional and global order. In spite of their different conditions, Europe and Asia have in common a willingness to overcome political and economic crises, and to open up a new future through dialogue and cooperation.

This study analyzes the discourse of the ASEM summits held five times since 2010 in the context of the interests of top political leaders of Europe and Asia. It utilized the statements issued by the ASEM Chair as a main reference and employed NVIVO10 software as an analysis tool for qualitative research. In many cases, the Chair’s statements revealed the interests of Europe and Asia alternately depending on the venue, and expressed more willingness for cooperation and exchange over economic, social and cultural issues than over political and security ones. As a consequence, the study found that ASEM was more interested in the issues involving women, the environment, society and connectivity under the basic governance of multilateralism.

This result indicates that the Korean government should approach international cooperation projects based on both regionalism and multilateralism.