The thirteen ASEAN+3 countries are inching forward toward closer economic cooperation. Can the European Union serve as a model for this Asian interregional integration process? Although there are common cultural threads running through all ASEAN+3 countries, these countries have not so far envisaged themselves forming a political and supra-national legal community similar to the EU. Nevertheless, the EU as innovator and forerunner offers Asia an unparalleled road map to further regional integration.
Where are the boundaries of the European Model? What form will Asian economic cooperation take? Asian and European scholars discussed these and other pressing questions on the invitation of the EU-China European Studies Centres Programme (ESCP) at a conference entitled «The EU’s Experience in Integration – A Model for ASEAN+3?» held in Shanghai in January 2006. Their findings are presented in this collection of fifteen papers on politics, economics and history of the two regions.