In the context of strengthen bilateral relations between the EU and ASEAN, as well as between the Netherlands and ASEAN, diplomats from ASEAN countries and representatives from the ASEAN secretariat participated in an annual training at the Clingendael Institute.
The overall purpose of this training was to emphasize the importance of establishing strong regional organisations which are able to foster collective development as well as increased regional security.
The training focused on regional integration with the aim of exploring the evolving relationship between the EU and ASEAN, including how the Netherlands can, as an EU member state, act as a partner with ASEAN and its member states. Within this broad aim, key elements of the training included:
- Enhancing the participants expertise in international negotiations within a regional organisation;
- Sharing experiences and increasing awareness of the breadth of opportunities for regional cooperation;
- The opportunity for participants to explore and share different perspectives on regional (in)security.
In order to provide participants of this training with adequate skills to achieve the above aims, the training focused expanding knowledge in different thematic areas and a number of important skills:
- Negotiation skills
- Intercultural communication
- Active listening
The group was able to bring all these skills into practice through a visit to various European institutions within Brussels. Here, participants were able to engage in conversations with those directly involved in policymaking regarding EU-ASEAN relations.
To ensure that the discussions and topics covered remain relevant with regards to global developments, the programme included experts and scholars from a wide range of fields that engage with the participants through various workshops and lectures. The participants delved into various other contemporary topics, including changing security dynamics in East Asia and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through exploration of a wide arena of subjects, participants were able to foster a greater sense of understanding for the diversity of the ASEAN region.