Indonesia is currently the 16th largest economy and headed towards being one of the top 10 economies in 2020. It is the largest country archipelago stretching across 5,300 km, with the world's fourth largest population, and the largest Muslim population. It is the world's third largest democracy and is itself the driver of integration in ASEAN. Indonesia is in fact the largest economy in ASEAN, representing around 36% of its GDP and 42% of its population. It is arguably the most democratic country in the region with generally free and fair legislative and executive elections, a powerful and active parliament and vibrant civil society and media operating in open conditions.
Now that it has graduated from bilateral assistance, Indonesia is pushing to enhance its partnership with the EU on issues of mutual interest and has manifested an interest to engage on South/South and Triangular Cooperation. EU cooperation is designed to support the Government of Indonesia's policies, as reflected in the Government's Medium Term Development Plans. EU priorities therefore go in line with this Development Plan.
Over the years, the EU and Indonesia have successfully worked together to foster inclusive economic development, promote good governance, protect the environment, counter the effects of climate change, support civil society, promote basic education, and prevent diseases.
- 54,729 schools have benefitted from EU support. Covering 16 provinces, 108 districts, and providing 7 million students with improved education, quality and gender equity for girls and boys in primary and secondary school
- 10 million invested to improve the integrity and accountability of the judiciary system and the quality of justice services
- 34 000 people currently on antiretroviral therapy: as part of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is funded up to 50% by the EU and Member States
- 89 % trained supervisors through EU budget support to education.
In the last decades, EU-Indonesia relations have evolved towards an equal partnership. EU development assistance to Indonesia, which amounted to more than €500 million in the past 10 years, has been used to deliver sustainable growth and address global challenges.
On the issue of governance, the EU launched the grant project 'Support for Reform of the Justice Sector in Indonesia (SUSTAIN)', with a budget of €10 million, which is helping to make the judiciary system more transparent, as well as improving the quality of legal services.
The EU also has several programmes in Indonesia promoting better education. Higher education is supported through the European Higher Education Fair, as well as through Erasmus+ scholarships and projects. Since 2004, more than 1 600 Indonesian students have benefitted from the Erasmus+ scholarship programme. The programme has also funded 11 university partnership projects involving European and Indonesian universities. The EU also has projects supporting education reform in Indonesia, with a budget of €320 million, which have contributed to education quality and improved gender equity for girls and boys in primary and secondary school. In this framework, the EU supported the design and the implementation of the National Education Policy, as well as the new Education Sector Strategic Plan 2015-2019 and the Minimum Service Standards Strategy, implemented in 16 provinces.
Economic cooperation continues to be a priority area for the EU and Indonesia. Building on the achievements of previous EU-Indonesia trade support, the ARISE Plus – Indonesia Trade Support Facility (€15 million) has been launched in 2019. The new programme focuses on enhancing Indonesia’s competitiveness in the global value chains, improving Indonesia's trade infrastructure and procedures, and boosting job creation.
In the spirit of SDG 17 'Partnerships for the Goals', the EU cooperates closely with its Member countries to support strategic investment projects, through grant funding to Indonesia's national infrastructure financing institution PT SMI and its platform 'SDG Indonesia One'. The EU also supports Indonesia's reform agenda through technical assistance together with its Member countries' Development Banks KfW and AFD, through the Asia Investment Facility.