EU and Japan agree ‘Green Alliance' at summit that confirms strong bilateral cooperation and multilateral leadership.
On 27 May, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel met via video conference with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga for the 27th EU-Japan Summit. At the summit, the EU and Japan established a Green Alliance, which is the first such bilateral initiative between the EU and a partner country intended to accelerate ambitious action to tackle climate change, environmental degradation, promote green growth and jobs, and achieve sustainable and secure energy supplies.
Speaking at the press conference following the summit, President von der Leyen said: “Japan is one of the first countries that has committed to climate neutrality in 2050. They are, like the European Union, very committed to the long-term goals. And we want to work much closer on this topic together. That is why we started the first ever Green Alliance with Japan.”
The leaders adopted a wide-ranging joint statement, which covers the three broad pillars of the morning's discussions: global issues; bilateral relations; and foreign and security policy. Speaking about the discussions on the response to and recovery from the coronavirus, President von der Leyen said: “Both the European Union and Japan have made significant contributions to COVAX to ensure access to vaccines for all. The European Union will continue to support the efforts to fight the pandemic, including by exporting vaccines. It is a sign of solidarity and a sign of friendship with Japan that so far the European Union has authorised more than 100 million doses to be exported to Japan. That is approximately enough to vaccinate 40% of the population. And this reflects the very strong bonds between the European Union and Japan.” The leaders also discussed the digital transition, global economic governance, the implementation of the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement, Economic Partnership Agreement, and Connectivity Partnership, as well as joint work to address challenges and opportunities in respective neighbourhoods, notably in the Indo-Pacific region in light of the EU's recently-adopted strategy. More information on the outcomes of the summit are available on the dedicated website, in the joint summit statement, in President von der Leyen's remarks at the press conference, in a factsheet, and in this webnews on the Green Alliance.
Both the official ‘Joint Statement’ and the linked ‘Towards a Green Alliance’ statement referred to the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation as supporting and facilitating cooperation “between the business communities of Japan and the EU, such as EU-Japan Business Round Table (BRT), the Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE), and the European Business Council in Japan (EBC)”. The Green Alliance statement also stated that, “Both sides also envisage to work together to further promote business cooperation in third countries’ markets, with support from the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation”.