Martin Holland, ad-personum Chair 2012-15

Objectives of the Chair

This project seeks to explore the impact of the EEAS in one specific region – the Asia-Pacific – with a view to identifying the extent to which the EEAS can make a qualitative difference to the EU’s global credibility as an effective diplomatic, development and foreign policy actor.

Questions that will be considered include:

  • What changes can be observed in how the EU interacts with the region (multilaterally and bilaterally)?
  • How have third countries adapted to the role of the EEAS?
  • What, if any, policy effects can be observed?
  • How the EEAS can mitigate any negative external perceptions of European integration?

The underlying logic of the project is that the perceptions and views held by those outside the EU can provide an invaluable measurement of the success of the EEAS and serve to balance more Euro-centric evaluations. In particular, for the distant Asia-Pacific region, has the launch of the EEAS made the understanding of EU foreign affairs easier to comprehend, easier to engage with, and easier to find policy complementarities? What will be the impact on existing bilateral relations? How far will the personal concerns of High Representative Baroness Ashton – human rights and the death penalty in particular – shade the region-to-region dialogue?

The project is also designed to address the impact and consequences caused by the series of large earthquakes experienced in Christchurch over the last 18 months. An effective relaunch of EU Studies that is locally relevant is now essential to rebuild interest: without any such new initiative the future of EU Studies in New Zealand will be compromised.

Structure of activities

The Project comprises three distinct but mutually dependent methodological aspects drawn from an interdisciplinary perspective comprising:

  • a teaching programme;
  • a research agenda; and,
  • a public outreach initiative

Teaching programme

Within this interdisciplinary framework, the teaching programme focuses on the course offerings of the ad personam chair creating a distinctive EU Studies identity at the NCRE. While such specialisation and concentration may be found within other EU-based centres of excellence, such a comprehensive thematic focus does not currently exist in the Asia-Pacific region. The objective is to brand the ad personam chair at the NCRE as the centre within the region where advanced interdisciplinary research and teaching related to the EU’s foreign policy can be undertaken.


The Chair has taught the following undergraduate and post-graduate papers during the 2012-15 period.

  • EURA 210 – European Integration: from Community to Union
  • EURA 310/ GEOG 321 – European Integration: from Community to Union
  • EURO 410 – The European Union as Global Actor

MA Thesis students


Melissa Idiens             The EU and Antarctica

Kirsty Schmutsch         Wheying up the options: How does the European Union’s Protected Geographical Status framework influence specialty cheeses made by small to medium sized companies in New Zealand?


Tim Roper                   NZ and the EU in the Pacific: Alternative Energy as a Mechanism for Development

PhD Thesis students


Lai Suet Yi                  Inter-regional Relations in International Relations: Asia-Europe Meeting since 1996


Guyla Toth                  A Constructive Relationship Between the European Union and Australia: the philosophical foundations of international relations with special regard to social constructivism

Genevieve Taylor       EU and the Asia Pacific: measuring effectiveness in disaster risk reduction through child protection


Gabriel Weibl              Internationalisation of New Zealand universities and international EU student mobility    

Ruth Fischer-Smith      Policy Implementation in a Transition Economy: SME Development in the EU Neighbourhood  

Olga Gulyaeva            A projection of the Self through the Other: Images and Perceptions of the European Union in Russia

Research agenda

Given the reputation of Prof. Holland as a leading international scholar of EU Development Policy, this existing research capacity will serve to inform the 2012-15 research strategy. The invaluable “EU perceptions” research database that has been constructed at the NCRE since 2004 – spanning some 20+ Asia-Pacific countries – provides a baseline against which new perceptions research can be measured. In what ways has the EEAS affected the perceptions held in the region towards the EU?  See:

The following book and article publications constitute the academic output of the Chair during the 2101-15 period.

Book Publications

  1. (Ed. With Chaban, N.) Communicating Europe in the Times of Crisis: External Perceptions of the European Union, Palgrave-McMillan, 2015
  • (Ed. With Chaban, N.), Europe and Asia: perceptions from afar, Nomos: Baden-Baden, 2015
  • European Union Development Policy(with M. Doidge) (Palgrave EU Series, London, 2012)

Articles and Chapters

  1. N. Chaban and M. Holland, “The Evolution of EU Perceptions: from single studies to systematic research”, in N. Chaban and  M. Holland (eds.), Communicating Europe in the Times of Crisis: External Perceptions of the European Union, Palgrave-McMillan, 2015
  • M. Holland  and N. Chaban, “Perceptions, Prisms, Prospects, ”, in N. Chaban and  M. Holland (eds.), Communicating Europe in the Times of Crisis: External Perceptions of the European Union, Palgrave-McMillan, 2015
  • Chaban  N., M. Holland, “EU External Perceptions:  from innovation to an established field of study”, in Aasne Kalland Aarstad, Edith Drieskens, Knud Erik Jørgensen, Katie Laatikainen and Ben Tonra  (ed.) Handbook of European Foreign Policy, Sage, 2015
  • Chaban, N., M. Holland and S.-Y. Lai, “Dysfunctional Relations?  Asian stakeholders views of Asia-EU relationship and its future direction”, in A.  Martínez Arranz, N. Witzleb, P. Winand and E. Polonska-Kimunguy (eds.), The European Union and Global Engagement: Institutions, Policies and Challenges, Edward Elgar,  2015
  • Chaban, N., S. Kelly, M. Holland, “Perceptions of Normative Power Europe in the shadow of the Eurozone debt crisis:  public perspectives on European integration from the Asia Pacific”, in Björkdahl, A., N. Chaban, J. Leslie and A. Masselot (eds.), Importing EU norms? Conceptual framework and Empirical findings, Springer, forthcoming 2014.
  • Chaban, N. and M. Holland (eds.), Special Issue “Lisbon and the Changing External Perceptions of the EU: Visions from the Asia-Pacific”, Baltic Journal of European Studies,  3(3), 2013
  • N. Chaban and M. Holland, “Assuming Superpower Status? Evolving Asian perceptions of the EU”, L’Espace politique, 2013, 19(1), 
  • N. Chaban and M. Holland, “Seeing the EU Outside its Borders: Changing Images of Europe”, Baltic Journal of European Studies, 2013, 3(3), 3-12.
  •  “Images of European Integration” (with Natalia Chaban, Serena Kelly, Suet-yi Lai) in The Palgrave Handbook of EU-Asia Relations,  (Eds, T. Christiansen, E. Kirchner, P. Murray) Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2013.

Public outreach

The outreach element of the methodology emphasises the necessity for academic research to be policy relevant. Through a series of seminars and roundtables, hosting practitioners and briefing stakeholders the academic research agenda helps both to inform practitioners as well as be informed by them. The NCRE is already well-known and well-connected in the region and well-placed, therefore, to facilitate such cooperative relationships. For example, over recent years the NCRE’s internationally renowned research on “EU Perceptions” has been presented to EU Delegations in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan; this on-going research has been in collaboration with the ASEM institution – the Asia Europe Foundation – helping to maximize effective engagement  with civil society. These ongoing Outreach initiatives are explicitly directed at a wide range of civil society organisations involving NGOs as well as officials – both New Zealand and EU.

The most substantive example of this public connectivity can be seen at the EEAS webpage that hosts the results of a research project undertaken by the Chair – External Perceptions of the EU in Ten Strategic Partner Countries, PPMI/ EEAS, Brussels, 2015.

Additional examples of public engagement overseas include being a Keynote Panelist on the “The Future of European Studies” at the University of Leuven in 2013; a Visiting Professor, for the MA in European Integration, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok from 2012-15; and a similar role at the Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya during the same period.

The project is both academic and policy-driven. The dedicated Jean Monnet webpage advertises activities and hosts publications: e-learning and online seminars are utilized, again expanding the accessibility of the project beyond the formal classroom.

Evidence-based policy dialogues relating to perceptions were directed to local, regional and Brussels based EEAS stakeholders to facilitate dialogue and feedback. The impact has been both locally relevant as well as of importance at the EU level.

The NCRE is considered the leading EU Studies centre in the region and the impact of the project will be enhanced by utilising the existing network of relations that the NCRE has built-up over the last decade. These include:

  • Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence Asia-Pacific (with Fudan, Keio and Monash)
  • EU Studies Association Asia-Pacific (NZ, Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, India, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan – member of the World ECSA group)
  • European Studies in Asia (involving Asian ASEM countries)

The NCRE serves as the administrative hub for all three of these networks and has proven credibility,  leadership and academic innovation, attributes essential to the effective implementation of the project.

Organisation of Dissemination

  1. A series of regular reflection activities were developed involving at least monthly online “Roundtables” comprising visiting academic experts as well as practitioners devoted to EEAS related themes.
  2. Annual diplomatic forums were organised bringing together the EU Delegation and Member State Heads to review the operationalization of the EU in New Zealand.  During the 2012-15 period the EU Ambassador to New Zealand resided in Canberra and the local Wellington Delegation headed by a Charge d’Affaires who did not assume the typical Ambassadorial Presidency duties.
  3. The dedicated Jean Monnet Chair ad personam webpage links the various existing webpages operated by the NCRE. This page serves as a “one-stop” location for Asia-Pacific EU researchers.
  4. Informal Policy dialogues devoted to aspects of the EEAS role in the region were implemented. These were drawn from the roundtable presentations, visiting academics and practitioners, as well as by the Chair holder and the post-graduate researchers under his supervision.
  5. Additionally, participation at the annual EUSAAP conferences in the Asia-Pacific region were undertaken.
  6. The project will also contributed through academic publications in the form of 9 journal articles or book chapters and at three volumes devoted to the theme of the operationalization of the EEAS globally.

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