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Discussion with Andreas List, Senior EU Diplomat and former Head of the EU Office in Myanmar, about ‘Reassessing the EU’s Human Rights and Democracy Promotion – Adjusting to Inevitable Realities?’ in Brussels, Belgium, provided by GlobalLearning

Promoting Human Rights indirectly through Public Diplomacy (saying what you think) and symbolic diplomacy (not directly, but transmitting a message.)

We have a certain level of openness, but that openness creates more conflicts. The most effective form of diplomacy is silent diplomacy. Open systems provide more favourable conditions to withstand any threats.

We have a quantity of democracy, but what about the quality of democracy? There are three models of democracy: firstly, Western Democracy which is liberal, electoral and hegemonic; secondly, non-western Democracy and finally, non-Democracy plus meritocracy.

The Arab Spring was clearly testing democracy. We have to promote democracy directly, but not as we did in Iraq in 2003. Democracy is a rainbow. This means that it is untouchable, something as in the skies; we can see it, but it does not fully work in practice yet. Democracy does not make a society more civil; it exposes the civility of society. It is a product of democratisation (you are creating democratisation and democracy is a product). The more democratic a state is, the more instability is created, and the more opportunities there are.

We have to provide tolerance and trust, and foster the ability to trust another countries.

Talk with Prof. Eberhard Rhein, is Senior Adviser to the EPC and former senior official in the Commission, about The EU in Turbulent Times: Ex-EU Official’s Forward-Looking Views on Europe in Brussels, provided by GlobalLearning

The United Kingdom will never be the same without Europe. The UK is gone and we have to accept this as a fact, and work towards building the EU without them. In economic terms, the UK was a little finger in the European Union, and in comparison the Czech Republic is much more supportive than the UK was in the EU.

The European Union does have public diplomacy but has not placed any weight on developing it further.

The fastest growing population in the world will be in Sub-Saharan Africa, and this  will be a wellspring of immigration for next the fifty years, and is already underway at present. Two thirds of African populations are under 23 years old. If we consider that 10 billion people will be living on Earth soon, and that the EU has 500 million citizens, then we can hardly look at the EU in terms of a superpower. We are not a great power, we are relatively insignificant.

Two of thirds of the EU’s budget is spend on agriculture, because of very well organised EU lobbyists. If we want progress in EU terms, we have to reduce this.

We must be more radical in the EU, because many people want to travel here as is happening right now with refugees, and this places an economic burden upon the EU. We have to come up with a better immigration policy and become more radical as a single entity. Furthermore, we were aware of warnings about the refugee crisis years ago, but we did not nothing.

We have to take care of our Muslims populations and provide better religious education, which will help to prevent terrorist acts in the future.