Europe’s Role in Asia: Soft Power but Not Hard Player?

This public lecture is now available as: MP3 (please listen to the file below - starts at 0:38)

What will be the role of Europe in a rising and rapidly re-balancing Asia? While Europe is already eclipsed by the US in strategic affairs - will Europe be further marginalised by a rising China? The European Union’s role in Asia’s international relations already increasingly takes precedence over the bilateral role of the EU member states - especially on economic and regulatory matters - but will the EU move into a hard security role? Will the European Union’s burgeoning soft powers (in regulatory and economic affairs) extend into hard security, military and strategic relations within Asia?
The EU has developed a worthy niche role as a facilitator and mediator in non-traditional security matters, such as conflict prevention and resolution – for example in Aceh and in the South of the Philippines. And the EU continues to proselytize its own values in Asia - democracy, freedom of speech, and human rights. But will the European foreign policy institutions just set up – the Treaty of Lisbon, the European External Action Service, the new European Union President as well as the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy make any real difference to Europe’s hard security and strategic reluctance and Europeans’ very limited operational capacity to act on hard security matters in Asia? Does the EU seek a strategic security role in Asia?
In this public lecture, Mr Thomas Roe will explore answers to these questions, drawing on his experience as a European Commission official, including responsibility for the coordination of the ASEM process. 
Mr Thomas Roe has been a full-time official of the European Commission since 1980, working on Europe’s external relations in a wide variety of roles. Most recently he was Asia Advisor and ASEM Counsellor in the Directorate General for External Relations of the European Commission. Before that he was amongst others Head of Delegation of the European Union Office in Hong Kong and Macao (2002-04) and Desk Officer for Indonesia and East Timor. He was EU Fellow and Visiting professor in Globalisation Studies at George Mason University, Washington DC (2000-01), and is currently on sabbatical from the European Commission at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
To view the flyer for this event please see: Europe’s Role in Asia: Soft Power but Not Hard Player?

Date & time

Mon 11 Jul 2011, 12am


Acton Lecture Theatre, J.G. Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing (Bldg 132, adjacent to the Stanner Building, Bldg 37), Canberra


Mr Thomas Roe


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