Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

IRS holds roundtable with EU acting ambassador

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ISLAMABAD, SEPT 6 (DNA) -: The Institute of Regional Studies held a roundtable with Ms. Anne Marchal, acting ambassador of the European Union Delegation in Pakistan on“EU’s Global Strategy” (EUGS) 2016 and its 2019 report on Looking Forward.
Ms. Marchal’s power point presentation showed that EUGS set out the EU’s core interests and principles for engaging in the world, expressed in the “alphabetical soup” of a more connected, contested, and complex world.
While EU’s strategy primarily focused on its immediate neighbourhood with migration as a key issue, EUGS expands the concept to security emanating from different geographic regions and focuses on preventive measures.
These included socio-economic development, the environmental degradation (including in the Artic), illegal migration, and countering disinformation.
She added that the strategy also set out medium- to long-term objectives as well as the steps required to get there.
President IRS Prof. Rukhsana Qamber thanked Ms. Marchaland asked if EU could help re-vitalize (SAARC).
Ms. Marchal, who is an EU “South Asian hand” having served several times in Delhi and Dhakka, while also covering the Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, said the impetus had to be from within the region.
Dr. Qamber mentioned that during 2018 and this year, IRS had held two international workshops on EU’s core concerns: “Countering Human Trafficking in the Broader South Asian Region” and “Fake News in Our Region” in collaboration with the American Institute of Pakistan Studies and the American Consulate.
Participants from both workshops were from our outlaying regions and had a healthy gender balance.
During the Q&A session, the EU’s response to the illegal abrogation of Article 370 on the part of the Indian government also came under discussion.
 Other participants of the roundtable were Dr. Amr Elsayed Nasreldin Elsayed, First Secretary of the Egyptian Embassy, Prof. Safeer Awan, Dean Faculty of Language and Linguistics at NUML – with which IRS is collaborating in its Area Studies program including interns for outstanding students – as well as senior IRS researchers.
Ms. Marchal was pleasantly surprised at IRS out-research across the country, including the large number of students at NUML.=DNA
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