Six student societies organize three-day Annual Student Conference on Diplomacy

From Thursday 25 March to Saturday 27 March 2021, a coalition of six student societies of our College of Europe Bruges campus organized a three-day Annual Student Conference on Diplomacy. The virtual flagship conference themed around the concept of "Alternative Diplomacy" included 9 panels with an extensive selection of more than 30 high-level speakers and experts.

Each of the 9 events across three days was hosted by a different student society: the Young Diplomats, the Economic Diplomacy Society, Energy Group, Eastern Partnership Network, European Horizons, and European Security and Defence Network. Rector Federica MOGHERINI participated in the official opening ceremony on Thursday, while President of the Administrative Council and President Emeritus of the European Council Herman VAN ROMPUY attended the closing ceremony on Saturday. 

Hannah BRANDT and Philippe LEFEVRE - Young Diplomats

"Overall the conference was a huge success, and we were extremely happy to see the hundreds of different participants across our four panels and the other panels over the three days. Hosting the panels with prestigious speakers such as Rector Mogherini and Mr. van Rompuy, as well as with academics, policymakers, and journalists from across Europe and beyond was a great experience. We are proud to be continuing the tradition of the Young Diplomats in this annual conference and hope that this framework of the conference can continue for years to come."

Viktorya MURADYAN - Eastern Partnership Network - ALTERNATIVE DIPLOMACY IN THE EASTERN NEIGHBOURHOOD 

"The Eastern Partnership Network was very thrilled to be involved in the Annual Young Diplomat's conference. We think that it is essential to broaden the diplomatic horizons of the EU and promote more exchange and dialogue with counterparts from the Neighbouring countries in order to enrich each other's worldview on the challenges that we call face collectively."

Beatrice BONO - European Security and Defence Network - CYBERDIPLOMACY 

"The panel highlighted that cyberspace has now definitively established as a strategic domain. Not only it is shaping the modes and means of diplomacy and conflict, but it has enabled access to previously unexplored dimensions of power confrontation, such as the human psyche. "

Jakob MATTHIESSEN - Economic Diplomacy Society - THE GEO-POLITICIZATION OF EUROPEAN TRADE POLICY 

On Friday 26 March, The Economic Diplomacy Society invited two leading academics in EU trade policy, Prof. Alicia GARCIA-HERRERO and Prof. Kalypso NICOLAÏDIS, to the event “The Geopoliticization of European Trade Policy” at the College of Europe in Bruges. 

“The Economic Diplomacy Society was very pleased to have Prof. García-Herrero and Prof. Nicolaïdis with us to share their valuable insights during this highly interesting and thought-provoking session. The event provided students with a unique opportunity to exchange with leading academics on pressing issues such as the geopoliticization of EU trade policy and the complex EU-China economic relations. We would like to thank both panelists and attendees for their active participation in our event.”

Miguel GARRIDO MORENO - European Horizons - TECHPLOMACY

"European Horizons Chapter at the College of Europe was honored to host Nikolaj J. Wædegaard for a conversation on Techplomacy, where he dived onto the role of tech in foreign policy.

Nikolaj Wædegaard can be considered as one of the ‘founding fathers’ of Techplomacy, as he served as Deputy to Denmark’s (and world’s) first Tech Ambassador. Currently, he is Chief of Staff and Senior Director at Microsoft European Government Affairs. With his experience, he was able to shared with us both sides of the coin of Techplomacy, sharing with us the challenges for both governments and big tech companies.

With some tech companies having a massive influence on ordinary citizens and countries as a whole, governments need a better dialogue with them. Mr. Wædegaard showed us how a small EU country like Denmark can be an example of engagement with big tech, and how it aimed to shape the world, because, quoting Abraham Lincoln: “the best way to predict the future, is to create it”."

Mathieu FROMENTIN - Energy Group - THE GREEN DEAL, REVISITING EU ENERGY AND CLIMATE DIPLOMACY 

"The Energy group were pleased to have hosted a wonderful event at this year's student diplomatic conference! Overall it was a very interesting intervention from our three panelists, covering numerous topics with comprehensive insights."