The ASEM LLL Hub was established as the result of a preparatory work for the ASEM IV Heads of State Summit in Copenhagen in 2002. Three working groups were set up to explore the possibilities for a stronger cooperation between Asia and Europe in the field of lifelong learning. Their work included an analysis on how LLL enables governments to respond constructively not only to the changing demands of the knowledge economy but equally to strengthening social cohesion by engaging with the most vulnerable groups of society through raising participation in education and training, regardless of age and social and economic circumstance.
The initiative to establish the ASEM LLL Hub was welcomed at the 2004 ASEM V Heads of State Summit in Hanoi. With support from the Danish government, a first conference in Copenhagen in 2005 served as the ASEM LLL Hub’s official launch. Since this time, the ASEM LLL Hub has established a strategic partnership with the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).
The Chair’s conclusion of the first ASEM Ministerial Meeting on Education in Berlin (2008) described the ASEM LLL Hub as an innovative cooperation between Asia and Europe and invited it to expand its activities to include all ASEM countries.
The ASEM LLL Hub presented its activities at an exhibition during the ASEM VII Heads of State Summit in Beijing (2008). On this occasion, the heads of states renewed their commitment to further strengthen their cooperation in human resources development and sustained dialogue and exchange in the field of lifelong learning.
The ASEM Ministerial Meeting on Education (ASEM ME) in Hanoi (2009) concluded that lifelong learning provides a solid framework for sustainable human resource development, which generates economic growth and social welfare and enables individuals to pursue stimulating learning opportunities at all stages of their lives. Ministers took the view that LLL deserves specific attention for intensified cooperation among the ASEM countries.
The Chairs conclusions from the Hanoi meeting agreed to strengthen the role of the ASEM LLL Hub in order to deepen common understanding of LLL concepts and to enable relevant research-based policy recommendations. Ever since, the mandate of ASEM LLL Hub has been renewed at the bieannial ASME ME.