IES Spring Lecture Series: Perspectives for a European Security Strategy towards Asia

In collaboration with the Brussels Institute for Contemporary China Studies (BICCS)

Perspectives for a European Security Strategy towards Asia

This lecture series, jointly organized by the Institute for European Studies (IES) and the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies (BICCS) will discuss options for the European Union to involve in Asia as a security actor. Without a doubt the geopolitical point of gravity shifts to the east, and Europe needs to come to grips with that evolution. In terms of security, the first challenge is to define our interests in this region. Given its distance and the growing assertiveness of powers like China, how much do we need to care about this region for our own stability? What then should be the objectives for a long-term strategy? How should we cope with regional players, and other stakeholders, including the United States? What about the European Union as a normative power and how much should we continue to exist on issues like human rights and environment? What levers could we use and how could we persuade member states of the need of a more coherent security policy towards Asia?

Prominent experts, policy makers and opinion leaders will address these questions. The aim of the discussions will be to make a profound assessment of the security situation, as well as to formulate policy recommendations that simulate long-term strategic thinking.

We look forward to your attendance and active participation in the lectures. As places are limited, registration for the lecture is necessary. 


Wednesday, 4 February 2009, 18.00-20.00h (IES, Pleinlaan 15, 1050 Brussels)

Defining the EU’s security interests in Asia

Guibourg Delamotte, Research Associate, Centre Asie Sciences Po

James Moran, European Commission,  Head of Asia Directorate

This session clarifies how traditional and non-traditional challenges in Asia affect Europe’s security interests. The panellists will assess how strong the need is for the European union to remain involved in this region as a security actor and what the nature of its strategy should be. In addition, it will be discussed how member states can be encouraged to coordinate their policies at the European level.

Watch this lecture

Wednesday, 11 February 2009, 18-20h (IES, Pleinlaan 15, 1050 Brussels)

Securing Afghanistan: the regional dimension

Shada Islam, Senior Programme Executive, European Policy Centre (EPC)
Bettina Muscheidt, Political Desk Officer, European Commission

Alison Blosser, US Mission to NATO

The speakers will elucidate the security challenges facing the international community in Afghanistan with specific emphasis on the regional dimension. How can regional players become more closely involved in the stabilization of this strategic frontier and how can the European Union contribute to build confidence?

Wednesday, 25 February 2009, 18-20h (IES, Pleinlaan 15, 1050 Brussels)

The Asian dimension of a European strategy towards Russia 

Robert Ross, Boston University
Fraser Cameron, EU-Russia Center

Moscow repeatedly has showed its willingness to position itself as geo-economic center between Asia and Western Europe. This should allow Russia to gain leverage and to get more value out of its natural resources. The panellists will investigate how determined Russia is in expanding its relations with the east and how this will affect the European Union’s interests.

Watch this lecture

Thursday, 5 March 2009, 18-20h (IES, Pleinlaan 15, 1050 Brussels)

Africa and the Asia nexus
Chris Alden, London School of Economics and Political Science
Andebrhan Welde Giorgis, Independent Professional

Africa is one of the areas where the European Union experiences the rise of Asia. This seminar will examine how Asian powers compete which each other to get access to Africa’s market. The speakers will also assess the consequences for the European Union and formulate options to make the growing interest from the East conducive to Africa’s development.
Watch this lecture

Wednesday, 18 March 2009, 18.00-20.00h (IES, Pleinlaan 15, 1050 Brussels)

The EU’s soft power in Asia: does it work?

Alok R. Mukhopadhyay, Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA)
Alain Ruche, European Commission, DG RELEX

Quansheng Zhao, American University, Washington DC

The European Union presents itself as a normative power. To make Asia more secure, it seeks to promote human rights, good governance, regional cooperation and free trade. How is Europe perceived as a normative power? What about the so-called clash between Asian and European values? How can the European Union be more credible and coherent in trying to advance its standards in Asia?

Watch this lecture

Wednesday, 25 March 2009, 18.00-20.00h (IES, Pleinlaan 15, 1050 Brussels)

Asia in 2020

Sujit Dutta, Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA)
Renier Nijskens, Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

How will Asia’s security climate evolve in the next ten years and what are the prospects for the European Union as a stakeholder in Asian affairs? This session is as much an exercise in out-of-the-box thinking as it is an attempt to explore the Europe’s policy options for the longer term. In cooperation with the European Policy Centre (EPC), the Egmont Institute and the Royal Military Academy.

Monday, 30 March 2009, 18.00-20.00h (IES, Pleinlaan 15, 1050 Brussels)

Engaging the great powers

Evelyn Goh, Professor at Royal Holloway University of London
Axel Berkofsky, Milano University

This session will take stock of the security dimension of the European Union’s partnership with Asia’s regional powers China, India and Japan. The panelists will critically discuss the desirability of and the options for more comprehensive synergies.

Watch this lecture

Wednesday, 8 April 2009, 12.30-14.30h (IES, Pleinlaan 15, 1050 Brussels)

EU-US cooperation in Asia

Bates Gill, Director at SIPRI
Gudrun Wacker, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik

The United States is still seen as Asia’s main security actor. This session explores options for America and Europe to join forces in Asia. How much are their interests complementary? Are their security policies compatible?