New: ASEF will organise a Model ASEM - a 3-day youth conference and political simulation of the actual ASEM Summit. Model ASEM is a platform for political debate and negotiation where over 150 participants from the 51 ASEM countries have the possibility to experience first-hand Asia-Europe diplomacy through role-play exercises, practical trainings as well as meetings with the ASEM Leaders of today. Read more and apply here.

The “Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative” has been set up in 2013 by the DiploFoundation, the Asia-Europe Foundation, and the National Centre for Research on Europe – University of Canterbury, to help to promote and facilitate skills training for diplomats and civil society actors. The aim of the initiative is to improve public diplomacy efforts between the countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process.

To date, 174 participants split between 3 online courses and 3 face-to-face trainings attended the programme. The face-to-face training were held in Geneva (July 2014), Kuala Lumpur (March 2015), and Bangkok (August 2015).

"The Swiss knife" of Asia-Europe public diplomacy
(click the image to enlarge)

The initiative utilises the findings of the existing ASEF dual perceptions studies, EU through the Eyes of Asia and Asia in the Eyes of Europe, in developing toolkits and training modules focused on improving capacity among diplomats and civil society actors. The materials benefit from the insights offered from the vast amount of information collected looking at the how the EU is seen across Asia and vice versa.

The studies offer feedback from 18 different counties in Asia and Europe during a pivotal period for both regions. This feedback includes the results of public opinion surveys of over 16,000 respondents, the analysis of over 9,000 news items and the insights from face-to-face interviews with over 450 influential figures in Asia and Europe. The course materials/toolkits incorporate this rich set of data to provide unique insights for diplomats and professionals to develop a deeper understanding of the current perceptions and help them inform their work in promoting Asia-Europe relations.

Diplo press release from a face-to-face training in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 10 - 12 March, 2015.

The project brought together a panel of experts on public diplomacy and perceptions who developed training modules, sector specific course materials and toolkits. The materials form the basis for an 8-week online course and a 3-day face-to-face training module designed for early career diplomats and civil society actors invested in improving Asia-Europe relations.

The project is supported by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and the Asia-Europe Foundation.

Each of the previous trainings was delivered to a different group of about 25-30 participants:

  • Group 1: 8-week interactive online course on public diplomacy topics and practical skills training in e-diplomacy, public opinion, media relations and social media in an Asian-European context. Dates: 12 May – 13 July 2014.
  • Group 2: 3-day face-to-face training on topics drawn from the online course curriculum mentioned above. Dates: 2 – 4 July 2014, Venue: Geneva, Switzerland. Photos available at this link.
  • Group 3: 8-week online learning course. Dates: 23 October 2014 – 8 January 2015.
  • Group 4: 3-day face-to-face training. Dates: 10 – 12 March 2015, Venue: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photos available at this link.
  • Group 5: 8-week online learning course. Dates: 7 May 2015 - 16 July 2015
  • Group 6: 3-day face-to-face training. Dates: 24 - 28 August 2015, Venue: Bangkok, Thailand

For more information, please contact Andrej Skrinjaric at

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