On Wednesday the 29th of October the ‘Nederlands Genootschap voor Internationale Zaken’ (Netherlands Society for International Affairs, NGIZ) together with multiple Young Professional organisations in international affairs including JASON Institute, presented Club Clingendael: a Young Professional Network Event. The goal of this event was to connect Young Professionals and, at the same time, have in-depth discussions about topics concerning International Relations. This first edition was held at the Clingendael Institute in The Hague and concerned “ A New Committee, The New European Foreign Affairs Policy ”.

The Italian Ambassador Francesco Azzarello opened the event by giving more information about the Italian Commisioner, Frederica Mogherini, the new High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Ambassador outlined that Federica Mogherini is a very talented politician with a great sense of justice. He praised her competence in speaking and her fluent English. The existing criticism on Mogherini is, according to the ambassador, not justified. He stated that everybody should give her a chance to prove her competence. He admits that her new task is a very complex one and you can’t expect immediate changes, but he believes that her job will become essential for Europe in this decade.

After the introduction all participants could choose between one of the five workgroups in round one. The workgroups were given by professionals from the international field and had all different topics concerning European foreign affairs policy:

  • Sijbren de Jong, Analist at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, spoke about the relation between Europe and Russia.
  • Mathilde Teuben, Expert in trade and sustainability in Asia. She spoke about the relations between Europe and China. She discussed in an interactive workgroup why China is or is not a lucrative trade partner for Europa.
  • Paul Aarts, University of Amsterdam, spoke about the relation between Europe and the Middle-East.
  • Mark Reichwein, Ministry of foreign affairs, spoke about the Transatlantic Trade and Investments Partnership between Europe and the United States (TTIP). He talked about the current cases, the current problems and the possibilities. Furthermore the participants were able to ask about specific cases and possibilities .
  • Matthieu Segers, Assistant professor Utrecht University, explained why the Foreign Policy is and becomes even more important for Europe. Not defining the European borders and holding to their neighbourhood policies lead to uncertainties that will weaken Europe. Therefore Mogherini has a very important task to define together with all member states to define the European Foreign Policy. After a short explanation and some background information the participants were able to ask some questions which led to a lively debate.
  • Ronald Vuijk, from the Liberal Party in the Netherlands, spoke about the European Defence and Security Policy. In an interactive workgroup the participants discussed the question if an European defence organ will emerge or not.

After the first round of workgroups a diner was served, kindly sponsored by Hendrik Muller Vaderlandsch Fonds and Institute Clingendael. After a short break the second round of workgroups started, in which the participants rotated between the five workgroups.

The evening was closed with a drink. During the drinks the speakers and participants were able to have a more informal conversation. All participants, being a student or young professional were able to connect to each other and exchange information and experiences.

This evening was made possible by the NGIZ, in cooperation with multiple young professional organisations; JongEZ, VeryBZ, JongDefensie, JongEBN, JASON Institute, JongClingendael and was hosted by Institute Clingedeal. We’re looking back at a very successful and inspiring event and we are already looking forward to the second edition of Club Clingendael.

Would you like to join the next edition of Club Clingedael? On our website and on oure Facebook page you will find more information about the next event. Also NGIZ and Club Clingendael will notify you about the next edition on their Facebook pages. Not active on Facebook? On Linkedin the activity will be promoted in the group ‘ Netherlands Society for International Affairs ‘.

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