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WP5 - Exploring the Effectiveness of the EU's Promotion of Regional and Inter-regional Processes in the South through Science, Cultural and Economic Diplomacy

Work Package 5 maps the contours of the EU and its member states' involvement in the use of science, cultural and economic diplomacy to foster regional and inter-regional processes. It uses the term "South" as a hosting metaphor to delineate the developed world from the developing states and regions to be found in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The EU and its member states have been engaged for several decades in various scientific, cultural and indeed economic diplomatic efforts that have aspired to enhance regional and inter-regional cooperation in the South.


For example, the EU, via the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), has backed an inter-regional cooperative relationship between regional networks: in Latin America (FLACSO), in Africa (CODESRIA) and Asia (IDEAs). Collectively, these regional networks organise a number of policy specific South-South inter-regional institutes.


The specific objectives of WP5 are:


  1. To map and analyse the role of EU institutions and various specialised agencies in using science and cultural diplomacy in the promotion of regional and inter-regional processes in developing regions. It focuses primarily on the activities of the EU and only secondarily on individual member states and the states of these regions with which they have had longstanding bilateral relations.

  2. To identify the constraints and opportunities for future scientific and cultural cooperation. While not exclusive, analyses privilege a focus on Africa with an emphasis on collaborations and innovation, not development assistance. This allows the work package to offer a case-study on the prospects for EU cooperation in science, innovation and culture as a vehicle to foster and support Africa’s regional and inter-regional cooperative processes at this important time in Africa’s development.

  3. To seek to determine how the EU promotion of regional and inter-regional processes through science, cultural and innovation diplomacy can enhance EU standing as an international actor. Judgment can only be arrived at comparatively, so analysis draws on relevant experiences of other states actively fostering regional and inter- regional processes (notably the US and China and to a lesser extent Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea).


The WP5 work is undertaken by UNU-CRIS and VUB.

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