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Future CHOICE Summer School: Navigating Troubled Waters: The EU in the Indo-Pacific

AMO AMO / Ed. 27. 6. 2024
Future CHOICE Summer School: Navigating Troubled Waters: The EU in the Indo-Pacific

In May 2024, the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town of Kutná Hora, Czech Republic, hosted the second edition of the Future CHOICE Summer School. This exciting program brought together twenty aspiring young professionals and advanced university students from across Europe to delve into the political, economic, and security dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region, with a particular focus on China. This followed the inaugural edition held in May 2022, which concentrated on China-EU relations.

The summer school featured nine expert-led sessions addressing key challenges in the Indo-Pacific, delivered by renowned specialists. The keynote speech was delivered by H.E. Marek Libřický, head of the Asia-Pacific Department at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Notable contributions included insights from Dr. Jakub Jakóbowski of Poland, the Deputy Director of the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) and the Head of the China Department, who provided a Central and Eastern European perspective on the region, and Ms. Abigaël Vasselier, Director for Policy & European Affairs and head of the Foreign Relations team at MERICS, who discussed the region’s significance to the EU.

Ms. Bonnie S. Glaser, the Managing Director of GMF’s Indo-Pacific program outlined the US view on the region. Justin Bassi, Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), and H.E. Kitaoka Shinichi, Japan’s former amabassador to the UN, provided the regional perspectives of Australia and Japan respectively. Prof. Dr. May-Britt U. Stumbaum, Professor of Security Studies and Strategic Competition at the George C Marshall European Center for Security Studies and Director of the SPEAR Institute explored in her lecture the region’s security focal points, and Dr. Niklas Swanström, Director of the Institute for Security and Development Policy focused in his session on the DPRK’s international actions and their security implications.

The event concluded with insights from H.E. Jakub Landovský, the Czech Ambassador and Permanent Representative to NATO, who shared the Alliance’s perspective on the region.

Interactive simulations were a core part of the program, with participants role-playing diplomats from five countries during multi-day crisis negotiations, demonstrating their strategic thinking and collaborative skills under pressure. Additionally, the program included a career advice forum where the present experts shared their personal and professional experiences and provided invaluable career guidance to the participants.

Set in the historical venue of the former Jesuit College, the summer school also incorporated a rich cultural program that included visits to the nearby ossuary and the UNESCO-listed St. Barbora Church, enhancing the experience with a deep dive into local heritage and history.

Beyond the educational benefits, the program offered exceptional networking opportunities, connecting young professionals poised to influence the future understanding of the Indo-Pacific across Europe. The second cohort of Future CHOICE summer school alumni will join the ever-expanding community of CHOICE experts across Europe.

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