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Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
June 2013- January 2015 Grace Foo Political and Economic Department Asia in the Eyes of Europe Governance & Human Rights



Venue:
Asia and Europe

Effective communication is one of the primary bases of the art of diplomacy. Being able to draw on different perspectives and fully understand the viewpoint of the interlocutor are skills that complement the able diplomat. In this perspective, ASEF in collaboration with the DiploFoundation and the National Centre for Research on Europe – University of Canterbury NZ, launched the “Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative” to help to promote and facilitate training for young diplomats engaged in public diplomacy campaigns. The aim of the initiative is to improve public diplomacy efforts between the countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process. 

The initiative utilises the findings of the existing ASEF dual perceptions studies, EU through the Eyes of Asia and Asia in the Eyes of Europe, to develop toolkits and training modules focused on improving capacity among diplomats and civil society actors. The materials will benefit from the insights offered from the vast amount of information collected looking at the how the EU is seen across Asia and vice versa.

The studies offer feedback from 18 different counties in Asia and Europe during a pivotal period for both regions. This feedback includes the results of public opinion surveys of over 16,000 respondents, the analysis of over 9,000 news items and the insights from face-to-face interviews with over 450 influential figures in Asia and Europe. The course materials/toolkits will incorporate this rich set of data to provide unique insights for diplomats and professionals to develop a deeper understanding of the current perceptions and help them inform their work in promoting Asia-Europe relations.

The project  brings together a panel of experts on public diplomacy and perceptions to develop training modules, sector specific course materials and toolkits. The materials will form the basis for an 8-week online course and a 3-day face-to-face training module designed for early career diplomats invested in improving Asia-Europe relations. For more information, please consult the Programme Leaflet on the top-right corner of this page. 

The project is generously supported by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.

Partners

  • National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury
  • Diplo Foundation

Sponsors

  • Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland
ASEF's contribution is with the financial support of the European Commission.

Project Updates

  • Training for Young ASEM Diplomats

    Published on 04 Mar 2015

    Over 30 young diplomats from the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) member countries will take part in the 2nd face-to-face training from 10-12 March 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    The Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative comprises of tutored online courses and face-to-face trainings. This successful initiative has so far benefitted over 70 diplomats from 32 ASEM members through 2 online courses and 1 face-to-face workshop in Geneva, Switzerland.

    In the upcoming training, participants will learn about the findings from Asia-Europe cross-perception studies conducted by ASEF and its partner organisations. They will also interact with public diplomacy practitioners and senior diplomats who will share their hands-on experiences in enhancing public diplomacy efforts among ASEM members.

    The initiative is a joint cooperation between ASEF, the DiploFoundation (Switzerland), and the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE) – University of Canterbury (New Zealand). The Initiative is co-funded by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and ASEF with the support of the European Union. The 2ndface-to-face training is hosted by the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.

  • 30 young diplomats from Asia and Europe are currently participating in the 2nd online course of the Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative. The training takes place from 20 October to 21 December 2014.

    The 8-week-course targets young diplomats who work in the Asia or Europe Departments of Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) countries or diplomats posted at embassies in ASEM countries dealing with public diplomacy issues.

    Consisting of eight modules, the course provides practical skills-oriented training with toolkits designed by experts, public diplomacy practitioners and senior diplomats with the support of Asian and European diplomatic academies.

    The Initiative aims to improve the relations between Asia and Europe by enhancing public diplomacy efforts among the members of the ASEM process.

    The Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative is a joint collaboration between the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the DiploFoundation, and the National Centre for Research on Europe (NRCE). The Initiative is funded by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and ASEF with the support of the European Union.

  • The first face-to-face training course of the Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative took place on 2-4 July 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Over 25 young and enterprising diplomats from 22 ASEM countries participated in the training. Leading experts in the fields of perception studies and public diplomacy provided the participants with fresh and innovative approaches towards public diplomacy with a distinct Asia-Europe focus.

    ASEF’s Executive Director Ambassador ZHANG Yan attended the opening ceremony. He underscored the importance of communication in the new information age, stressing how digitalisation and the internet have opened new avenues for effective public diplomacy efforts.

    The workshop was complemented by a roundtable discussion “Asia in the Eyes of Europe, Europe in the Eyes of Asia” including panellists Ms Micheline CALMY-REY, Former President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and Mr Thani THONGPHAKDL, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the UN.

    The 3-day training provided ample opportunity for hands-on exercises, team-work and debate amongst participants. The training enabled Asian and European diplomats with a stronger understanding of ASEM whilst networking and strengthening the ASEM process as a whole.

  • As today’s world is increasingly interconnected by media and technology, public diplomacy needs to go beyond its conventional boundaries. So the question is: how to capacitate tomorrow’s diplomats to use these connections in strengthening inter-regional ties?

    Responding to this need to train and promote a new generation of young leaders, the Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative presents a series of highly interactive online and face-to-face courses throughout this year. The next training will take place from 2-4 July in Geneva, Switzerland.

    The participants, who are diplomats from ASEM member countries, will work together with key experts in the areas of research, business and the media and will learn how to devise and execute concrete, feasible and effective public diplomacy campaigns. The training will outline innovative practices for public diplomacy, placing emphasis on the use of digital tools and social media, and reach out to larger and more diverse audiences.

  • Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training

    Published on 05 May 2014

    The inaugural online course for the Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative will take place between 12 May and 13 July 2014. It will help improve Asia-Europe relations by enhancing public diplomacy efforts among the members of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process. The 25 participants for the course are young experienced diplomats selected from ASEM countries with a keen interest in Asia-Europe relations.

    The course consists of 8 core modules providing hands-on skills to devise and implement a successful public diplomacy campaign. Expert public diplomacy practitioners and senior diplomats with the support of European and Asian diplomatic academies have contributed and vetted the course material. The online platform, operated by ASEF’s partner organisation, DiploFoundation, will allow a highly interactive participation. The course material was drawn from a previous ASEF-sponsored study published in two volumes: Asia in the Eyes of Europe and The EU through the Eyes of Asia.

    The Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative is a joint cooperation between the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the DiploFoundation in Switzerland, and the National Centre for Research on Europe (NRCE) at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. The initiative receives financial support from the Swiss Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Effective communication is a primary basis of the art of diplomacy. Being able to draw on different perspectives and fully understand the sensibilities of the interlocutor are skills that complement the able diplomat. In this perspective, ASEF in collaboration with the DiploFoundation (Switzerland) and the National Centre for Research on Europe at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) launched the, Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative, a two-and-a-half year programme to help to promote and facilitate training for young diplomats engaged in public diplomacy campaigns. The aim of the initiative is to improve public diplomacy efforts between the countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process.

    The overall objective of the project is to improve knowledge and skills to promote deeper understanding between Asia and Europe, while specifically aiming to produce toolkits, training materials, and face-to-face training sessions for newer generations of digitally-engaged diplomats. Online courses will facilitate remote participation. Furthermore, the initiative will utilise the findings of ASEF’s existing dual perceptions studies, EU through the Eyes of Asia and Asia in the Eyes of Europe. The materials of the training programme will benefit from the insights offered by the studies from the vast amount of information collected looking at how the EU is seen across Asia and vice versa.

    Photo Credit: Photography by Vivian Hertz and Bruegel