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Has the US' War on Drugs Been Lost and what Lessons Should Europe Heed?
26 November 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

With a greater number of casualties than the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns combined, and very meagre results, the US is starting to reconsider the "War on Drugs", waged since the '70s. The paradox of the "repressive-only" approach - the tougher the government acts, the more profitable the drug trade becomes - is being increasingly exposed by the media, opinion leaders, and politicians. Does Europe have an approach, and is it any more effective than the American one? Should European policies on the matter be more coordinated in tackling the societal challenges which are the causes and consequences of drug use? What is the record of countries that have adopted a decriminalisation approach? Is the "War on Drugs" part of the US' global responsibility, and is it also likely to change as a result of power shift and American global disengagement?     

Citizen’s Controversy with Dana Spinant, Head of Unit for Anti-Drugs Policies at the European Commission, and Martin Jelsma, Coordinator of the Drugs and Democracy Programme of the Transnational Institute (TNI).  

The debate was moderated by Marco Giuli, Research Fellow, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate was held in English.


Martin Jelsma - Presentation

The rapid development of China's public diplomacy: what does it mean for Europe?
13 January 2015, 12:00 - 14:00, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation, Brussels
book cover

China invests heavily in policies aimed at improving its image, guarding itself against international criticism and advancing its domestic and international agenda. The Chinese government seeks to  develop a distinct Chinese approach to public diplomacy, one that suits  the country's culture and authoritarian system. In “China's Public Diplomacy”, author Ingrid d'Hooghe argues that this approach is characterised by a long-term vision, a dominant role for the government, an inseparable and complementary domestic dimension, and a high level of interconnectedness with China's overall foreign policy and diplomacy.

Europe encompasses multiple, potentially conflicting, levels of public diplomacy (subnational, national, transnational, and supranational) and the European Union lacks a structured public diplomacy policy. However, a number of recent initiatives aim to reinforce the link  between EU foreign and cultural policies, such as the EC  Communication "European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World"  and the creation of a Member State expert group on culture and  external relations (taking China as a test case).
As China steps up its public diplomacy efforts, what does this mean for Europe? Can Europe learn from China's approach to public diplomacy? Is there a degree of convergence between Chinese and European public diplomacy practices? Can public diplomacy help overcome  stumbling blocks in mutual understanding? How could Europe improve  its public diplomacy towards China (and the rest of the word)?

A lunch-seminar / book launch with:  

Ingrid d’Hooghe, Senior Research Associate, The Clingendael Institute

Damien Helly, Deputy Head of programme Strengthening European External Action, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

Ji Rong, Deputy Director, Press and Communication Section, Chinese Mission to the EU

Walter Zampieri, Head of Unit, Culture policy and intercultural dialogue, DG Education and Culture, European Commission

The debate was moderated by Jan Melissen, Senior Research Fellow, The Clingendael Instituten and Professor of Diplomacy, University of Antwerp. 

Event report

The debate was held in English.

This event was held on occasion of the launch of the book “China's Public Diplomacy” (I. d’Hooghe, Brill Nijhoff, 2015).

This event was jointly organised with The Clingendael Institute



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