The first ever Joint Committee under the EU-Indonesia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) met in Brussels on 28 and 29 November 2016. The meeting was jointly opened by EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia Retno Marsudi.
It constitutes a further milestone in EU-Indonesia relations, building on the strong momentum this year as made evident by the launch of the strategic ministerial dialogue in Jakarta on 8 April and the visit by President Joko Widodo to Brussels on 21 April. The Joint Committee welcomed the launch of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations in Brussels on 20-21 September and looked forward to a successful second round scheduled for January in Indonesia.
A ceremony in the presence of European Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella marked the start on 15 November 2016 of the implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement. Both sides welcomed this as an important step in contributing towards protecting the environment. The FLEGT licensing scheme will boost confidence in the legality of Indonesian timber exports to the European Union and contribute to a better protection of Indonesian tropical forests, the third largest in the world.
Indonesia is the first country in South East Asia to enjoy the most advanced cooperation framework with the European Union.
The European Union and Indonesia are close partners and the PCA will boost our cooperation in a number of areas. Working groups and other mechanisms have already been established in the fields of trade and investment, development cooperation, human rights as well as fisheries and maritime issues. A security dialogue was launched in April in Bandung. The Joint Committee also agreed to set up a working group on environment and climate change.
The launch of the Joint Committee will allow Indonesia and the European Union to work in a systematic way to explore the full potential for cooperation in different sectors. It moves bilateral relations to a higher level and significantly strengthens our mutual ties.
The Brussels Times