The EU Soft Power: Does it work in Asia?
ASIA FORUM with Alain Ruche
European Commission (Asia Directorate, Brussels)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009, 10:00-11:30
Considering soft power as ‘the ability to get what you want by attracting and persuading others to adopt your goals’ (J. Nye) it appears that development and humanitarian assistance are the basis of the emerging EU soft power in the eighties in Asia. Only in 1994 and in 2001 did the EU formulate its first strategies towards the region aiming at strengthening its political and economic presence. There are significant examples of the EU soft power in Asia. As a whole there is a great demand for Europe in Asia in the field of economics, culture, diplomacy and development assistance. The right cocktail of EU smart power should consist of a quiet army of XXIst century diplomats, enlightened businessmen and open-minded European citizens with only the military component to make it globally effective.
Alain Ruche has worked previously with the UN and the World Bank. Following a short career as university researcher, Mr. Ruche joined the European Commission (External Relations General Directorate) twenty years ago and has held several positions (political, trade, development, and information matters) at EC delegations in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He is currently in charge of strategic aspects of EU relations with Asia (Asia Directorate, Brussels). Mr. Ruche has higher education degrees in economics, pedagogy and development economics.
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