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Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative 2016

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
5-9 December 2016 Governance & Economy Department ASEF Public Diplomacy Training Governance & Human Rights

Online training; Face-to-face training in The Hague, Netherlands

The Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative aims at improving the relations between Asia and Europe by enhancing public diplomacy efforts among the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Partners. It provides practical skills-oriented training with toolkits and training modules designed by public diplomacy experts and practitioners as well as senior diplomats with the support of Asian and European diplomatic academies.

The training targets:

  • Young diplomats in Departments dealing with Asia, Europe, or ASEM in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs or equivalent of the ASEM Partners
  • Diplomats posted by ASEM Partners to ASEM countries who are dealing with public diplomacy
  • Representatives from government agencies (culture, tourism, trade and investment, etc.)

In 2016, the Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative implemented the following activities:

  • Online Training (4 April - 12 June 2016)
  • Public Diplomacy Handbook (December 2016 - see "Publications" section on the right for download)
  • Face-to-face Training (5-9 December 2016, The Hague, Netherlands)


  • Diplo Foundation
  • National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury
  • The Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’


  • Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland

Project Updates

  • On 5-9 December 2016, ASEF and the Clingendael Institute organised the 4th Face-to-Face Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training in The Hague, the Netherlands. Initiated by ASEF in 2013 in partnership with DiploFoundation and the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE), the training is targeted at young, mid-level diplomats from ASEM partners working on Asia-Europe relations in their respective ministries.

    This 5-day training was an opportunity for the young diplomats to strengthen their core diplomacy skills in international negotiations, crisis communication and e-diplomacy. 24 young diplomats from 24 ASEM countries learnt about cross-cultural perceptions that shape the image of Asian and European countries, and the importance of public diplomacy for nation branding. Participants also visited the Communications Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, where they gained insights into public diplomacy strategy and best practices of the Netherlands.

    During the event, ASEF launched its newly-published ASEF Public Diplomacy Handbook: How to Win Hearts and Minds on 6 December 2016. An Experts’ Roundtable on Public Diplomacy was organised during this launch consisting of 6 representatives from the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and the Netherlands, the media and academia. Experts highlighted the need for diplomats to increasingly build cross-sector partnerships to engage different stakeholders in their public diplomacy strategies and foster dialogue across borders and sectors. Published as part of the Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative, the ASEF Public Diplomacy Handbook provides diplomats and civil society actors with a theoretical foundation along with practical tools for constructing a successful public diplomacy approach in the context of Asia-Europe relations.

    Click here to download the ASEF Public Diplomacy Handbook

  • A call for applications to participate a training to hone your public diplomacy skills and to network with fellow diplomats and like-minded professionals is now open!

    Hosted by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations “Clingendael”, the 4th Face-to-face Training of the Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative will take place on 5-9 December 2016 in The Hague, the Netherlands. This 5-day training will provide young diplomats and professionals, whose current focus of work is international relations in the context of Asia-Europe relations, with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of public perceptions of Asia and Europe, and to strengthen practical skills to formulate, develop and deliver effective public diplomacy campaigns through real-life examples and case studies.

    For more information, please check the course leaflet (here). Submission of the application is open until 28 October 2016.

  • Public diplomacy involves any activity aimed at influencing both of the foreign and domestic public, understanding their attitudes to foreign policy, and shaping their views on these issues. Through these efforts, a dialogue can be established to inform and shape more positive perceptions to improve understanding and better communicate foreign policy priorities. For this reason, it is important that those actors responsible for improving the image of their country abroad have an understanding of how they are currently perceived, be it by the media, influential figures or the wider public.

    The Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative will implement an online course to provide young diplomats and professionals involved in interntional affairs with insights into current perceptions of diplomacy efforts in Asia and Europe. The training will also enable them to incorporate public diplomacy skills into their daily work.

    The 8-week programme (4 April - 12 June) will engage participants in interactive online discussions with their fellow course-takers as well as module moderators who are experts in different fields of public diplomacy. The cost of participation in the training is covered entirely by the organisers.

    For more information, please check the course leaflet (here) on this page. Application (here) is open by 30 March 2016.

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