The Report of the NEAT Working Group on
Networking Cultural Institutions for Socio-Cultural Connectivity in East Asia
July 2019
Recognizing the importance of building East Asian socio-cultural community, the Network of East Asian Think-Tanks (NEAT) has organized a number of working groups in dealing with general issues of cultural exchange and explored various ways to enhance cultural exchange in East Asia. In this context, the NEAT Working Group Meeting on ‘East Asian Socio-Cultural Connectivity: Building an Institutional Network’ was organized by NEAT Korea on July 20, 2018 with the presence of 17 representatives from ASEAN Plus Three (APT).
The WG in 2018 made recommendation as follows. First, it is highly necessary to build a network among the sociocultural institutes in the member countries. Upon the recommendation of NEAT coordinators, the representing institute will share information and update the state of the member states national and regional sociocultural policies and challenges.
Second, to form a regional vision for more concrete socio-cultural cooperation, a regular policy forum needs to be conducted. The regional network of the sociocultural institutes conducts collaborative research on the socio-cultural community and various sociocultural challenges the region is facing. The regular forum will identify the priorities on sociocultural cooperation. This initiative would lead to the formation of an epistemic community that consists of scholars, policy makers and other stakeholders including those who participated in the NEAT process previously.
Third, for the medium- and long-term development plan, an inter-state research and monitoring unit for the sociocultural community needs to put in place, the socalled Institute for Socio-Cultural Cooperation for ASEAN and East Asia. The institute can offer policy recommendations for the ASSC and East Asian sociocultural community. It may handle selected socio-cultural cooperation programs mainly in the field of education and research to fulfill its main task. Importantly it would monitor the progress of the ASCC and APT plans for sociocultural cooperation.
The proposed working for this year was committed to the recommendations of the 2018 WG by providing a room for representatives from the related cultural institutions from the NEAT member countries to discuss the process and extent of institutionalized network of cultural institutions for socio-cultural connectivity in East Asia. 
The NEAT Working Group on Networking Cultural Institutions for Socio-Cultural Connectivity in East Asia was organized by NEAT Korea in Busan on July 4, 2019 with presence of representatives from 9 member states of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT). This report strives to put forward policy proposals on Networking Cultural Institutions while it presents major points discussed during the meeting. 
For the full text of the report, click here.