IMPACT – Policy Debate with the Academic World (2017-2021)

IMPACT builds on the previous record of collaboration between all 8 NZ universities under the EUCN (2010-2017) and focused on EU-Asia Pacific policy relevance. The EUCN developed a partnership with the NZ Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA), an independent non-governmental body that promotes an understanding of global affairs, which supported selected project activities. IMPACT responded to an identified need within New Zealand for informed information on the European Union and European issues, and engaged with students, academia, the general public, civil society and the media on European Union and European issues. 

Project Activities:

The Europa Lecture Series has a proven record of promoting discussion and reflection on EU issues and enhancing knowledge about the Union and its processes. The two events featured high-level speakers from different institutions, engaging and educating its audience on the EU and EU issues, whilst promoting discussion and reflection on EU issues in New Zealand.

Europa Lecture 1 was presented by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on 21 June 2018 at the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington. Following the public lecture, EUCN postgraduate students had the opportunity to join a private meeting with the Commissioner discussing EU-NZ trade issues, postgraduate research and current events. The students presented the Commissioner with a brochure informing her about their current research projects.

For Europa Lecture 2, the European Union’s Commissioner for the Security Union, Sir Julian Beresford King KCVO CMG will presented Europa Lecture at the University of Canterbury on Thursday 27 June 2019. He spoke about ‘The Christchurch Call – bringing the conversation home’, along with New Zealand MPs Golriz Ghahraman and Gerry Brownlee. 

Following the devastating 15 March 2019 mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron met, alongside other world and tech leaders, to adopt the ‘Christchurch Call’. The Christchurch Call aims to combat online terrorism and violent extremism. The European Commission was a major supporter of the Call, alongside eight EU member states. The New Zealand Government had invited Sir Julian to the country as part of growing security connections following the Christchurch terrorist attacks. “The visit of Commissioner Sir Julian King builds on the 2016 NZ-EU Political Agreement and comes at a time of deepening relations as reflected in the current negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement,” said Professor Martin Holland, Director of the NCRE at UC.

New Zealand Parliamentarian Ms Ghahraman accompanied Sir Julian and participated from a local perspective. An Iranian-Kiwi refugee and current Green Minister for Parliament who had been subjected to online hate crimes, Ms Ghahraman talked about her own experience and how best to respond to terrorism. Former New Zealand Foreign Minister and current MP for Christchurch’s Ilam constituency, Mr Brownlee discussed what the Christchurch Call means to Christchurch.

The Christchurch Call by Sir Julian King

The Seminar Series Premier Events were presented by Jeff Langley, Deputy Secretary, Europe, Middle East, Africa & Australia Group at the Ministry of Foreing Affairs and Trade (MFAT), and a former New Zealand diplomat and ambassador, on 03 March 2018. Under the umbrella theme of bilateral and multilateral relations in a time of change, Mr Langley spoke on Change in Europe: New Zealand’s Response.  

Professor Whitman spoke about Brexit: Where Next for the UK? on 01 February 2019. The UK planned to leave the European Union on 29th March 2019 nearly three years as a consequence of a referendum vote in June 2016. Negotiating Brexit has been a major preoccupation for the UK over the last two and a half years. It has caused major political dislocation in the UK and divided the government, parliament, political parties and the public. The UK has been a participant in the European integration process since 1973 and over the last 45 years its politics, economy, society and place in the world have been increasingly tied to Europe. Brexit is a major point of departure for the UK.

On the eve of the UK’s departure from the EU Professor Whitman untangled the intricacies of the Brexit process, looked at the state of play in the UK’s relationship with the EU and offered an assessment of the UK’s future place in Europe.

Professor Richard G. Whitman is Director of the Global Europe Centre and Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent. He is also an Associate Fellow and former Head of

the Europe Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). His current research interests include Brexit and especially the future foreign and security and defence policies of the UK and the EU. He is the author and editor of eleven books, published over sixty articles and book chapters, on European integration and UK foreign and security policy. He is a lead editor of the Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS) – the longest established international academic journal covering the politics and economics of European integration. He was elected as an Academician of the UK Academy of Social Sciences in 2007 and is the 2017-2018 elected Chair of the British International Studies Association (BISA). He has also been appointed as an Academic Fellow of the European Policy Centre (EPC). Professor Whitman is a regular international media commentator. Recent coverage has included BBC radio and television, Sky, ITV, CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC and he has been quoted by print publications including The Economist, The Financial Times, Newsweek, Reuters, the International Herald Tribune and the Wall Street Journal. He has regularly been called to give evidence to the UK Parliament on UK and EU foreign and security issues.

The EU Public Diplomacy Seminar Series strand was designed to enhance knowledge about the European Union and its processes in collaboration with the NZIIA network. The seminar series consisted of eight public events during Semester 1, 2021, featuring EU Member State ambassadors discussing relevant, current developments and policy issues.

In close collaboration with the National Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA), the following two articles were published in the International Review: Why Poland is a threat to the European Union written by Stuart McMillan, and Poland’s EU membership: seized opportunities by Zbigniew Gniatkowski.

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