06/2018

KF-VUB Korea Chair Policy Brief 6 - Kim Jong-un’s tools of coercion

Jung H. Pak

Last fall and winter, the world was tense with the real possibilities of a military conflict breaking out on the Korean Peninsula as a result of Kim Jong-un’s testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles, the North’s sixth and largest nuclear test, and the rhetorical war with U.S. President Donald Trump. While the threat of another Korean war seems to be in the rear-view mirror, for now, we have to remember that Kim has been expanding, sharpening, and demonstrating other tools...

8/2018

EL-CSID Policy brief 8: Culture in the ENP South: Broad Ambitions, Little Strategy, Insufficient Means

Riccardo Trobbiani

This policy brief analyses the key shortcomings of EU cultural cooperation in the ENP South and proposes recommendations for reform. It looks at both the strategies and instruments in place. Euro-Mediterranean cultural relations lack strategic thinking. On the one hand, EU policies on cultural cooperation fail to design a region-specific plan. On the other hand, EU external policies including the ENP do not clarify the role of culture and its relative importance vis-à-vis other...

07/2018

EL-CSID Policy brief 7: Africa in Sight: Strategising a Renewed EU Focus

​Annamarie Bindenagel Šehović

Africa is (back) in sight. The belatedly formed coalition government in Germany, alongside the governments of France and the United Kingdom, has made ‘Africa’ a central focus of its political rhetoric. Numerous initiatives, from knowledge exchange to security exercises, stretch from the Sahel to South Africa. Translating these disparate endeavours into strategic policy can shape future perspectives and partnerships between the Europe, the European Union and Africa. This...

05/2018

KF-VUB Korea Chair Policy Brief 5 - Jobs, fairness and peace: The first anniversary of the Moon government

One year from his election, Moon Jae-in is a very popular president with approval ratings hovering around 80 per cent. The reason for his popularity is, to an extent, fairly simple: he has followed the promises that he made during last year’s election campaign. This refers both to domestic affairs and inter-Korean relations. With regards to the former, President Moon has been implementing a series of job boosting measures. He wants to address a perceived lack of good-quality jobs....

6/2018

EL-CSID Policy Brief 6 - The New EU Strategy for Central Asia: A Case for Cultural Diplomacy

Domenico Valenza

In June 2017, on the tenth anniversary of the first Central Asia Strategy, the Council of the European Union invited High Representative Federica Mogherini and the European Commission to draw a proposal for a new Strategy by late 2019. This decision provides an opportunity to review the shortcomings of the previous Strategy and to assess the evolving regional environment, in which Russia and China have consolidated their influence. 

By presenting current challenges in Central...

4/2018

KF-VUB Korea Chair Policy Brief 4 - From nuclear threats to nuclear talks: A big win for President Donald Trump?

US President Donald Trump surprised the world by accepting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s invitation to talk, thereby setting the scene for potentially the first ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president. A Trump-Kim summit, which American officials say will take place this coming May or June at a location yet to be determined, would mark a turning point in US-North Korea relations. After a year of escalating tensions and insults between the two leaders,...

5/2018

EL-CSID Policy brief 5: Health diplomacy of the European Union and its member states in Central Asia

Neil Collins
Kristina Bekenova
Ainur Kagarmanova

In the soft power context, health is increasingly seen as an area that generates particular diplomatic benefits because it is ostensibly non-political and can bring both immediate and long-term advantages equally to the donor and the recipient country. Since the European Union’s role in the international affairs is increasing, the EU is expected to play a central role in global health guided by the principles of solidarity, i.e. to provide an equitable and universal access to quality...

4/2018

EL-CSID Policy brief 4: Science Diplomacy in search of a purpose in the populist era

Luk Van Langenhove
Elke Boers

Science Diplomacy as a practice has a long past but only a short history. It became a policy concern of Foreign Affairs only recently. This article points to the strengths and weaknesses of Science Diplomacy as a soft power instrument aimed at improving International Relations. It also lists a number of threats coming from populist and protectionist forces that hinder the further development of Science Diplomacy. At the same time, the current situation also bears opportunities such as the...

3/2018

KF-VUB Korea Chair Policy Brief: Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces of North Korean Threat on the U.S.-Japan-ROK Cooperation

Tongfi Kim

The shared threat emanating from Pyongyang creates a centripetal force that binds Washington, Tokyo, and Seoul because the three partners need mutual assistance. On the other hand, however, the high stakes involved in the North Korea policy of these states also intensify discord over the means to address the threat, thereby producing a centrifugal force. Policies that hurt each other’s fundamental security interests have to be pursued only with careful consultation with the partners,...

2/2018

KF-VUB Korea Chair Policy Brief 2: From Pyeongchang to Pyongyang

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games have already served one very important purpose: helping to thaw inter-Korean relations. Since engagement is a key element of President Moon Jae-in’s North Korea policy, it is highly likely that Seoul will continue to seek exchanges with Pyongyang. It is thus up to the Kim Jong-un regime to accept Seoul’s olive branch and contribute to improving inter-Korean relations. With Pyongyang continuing to support – or at least accept –...