Following the entry into force of a ground-breaking Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between Indonesia and the European Union aimed at forging a stronger relationship, many issues need to be tackled to further upgrade relations between the EU and Asia’s most populous Muslim majority democracy. Representatives from academia, civil society, the EU institutions, diplomacy and business got together to consider how the EU and Indonesia could develop a strategic partnership attuned to regional and global needs in the 21st century. Indonesia’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, Arif Havas Oegroseno, said there was much to pull the EU and Indonesia closer together, especially “in terms of our shared values, strategic and economic cooperation, and people-centred activities”, alluding to the numerous academic and civil society exchanges in force. Two closed-door sessions which focused on various aspects of the EU-Indonesian relationship were followed by an open public debate which looked at the upcoming Indonesian presidential elections, with senior Indonesian academics and economists underlining that the key issues in the polls were bread and butter ones, not foreign policy. Poverty alleviation, corruption and law-enforcement were top of the candidates’ agenda.
Indonesia’s transformation from an authoritarian state to a robust democracy continues to inspire a watching world. The year ahead will be crucial for Indonesia’s political future: legislative polls in April will be followed a few months later by the election of a new president to replace Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the military officer turned civilian president who has steered the country over the last ten years. Whoever wins at the ballot box will face an array of challenges in unleashing the country’s potential. As the world’s third-largest democracy heads to the polls, who are the most exciting candidates, what do they stand for and what are their election prospects? Do religious parties and groups wield political influence in Indonesia? What can the international community and foreign investors expect from the new government? Can the next leadership, in conjunction with private sector, address Indonesia’s bottlenecks to foster economic growth? What role is social media playing in the formation of public opinion, particularly as regards young voters? How will the elections impact on Indonesia’s foreign policy, including relations with ASEAN? What will be the new government’s attitude as regards closer ties with the European Union?
IMAGE CREDIT: leolintang/Bigstock
Executive Director, The Habibie Center
Acting Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, European External Action Service (EEAS)
Senior Professor of Islamic History and Culture at the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) of Jakarta
Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta
Executive Director of the Communication Department at the Central Bank of Indonesia, Jakarta
Luciano da Silva
Honorary Consul of Indonesia in Porto
Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Social Studies at the University Gadjah Mada
Managing Director at New Horizons Project
The Habibie Center is committed to promoting the modernisation and democratisation of Indonesian society based on the morality and integrity of sound cultural and religious values. As Executive Director, Abdulrahim is in charge of the day-to-day running of this leading Indonesian think tank, and also manages the ASEAN Studies Programme.
Before his appointment as Director for South and Southeast Asia in the EEAS, and subsequently as Acting Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, Astuto was the Deputy Italian Ambassador to India. He started his career in the Italian Diplomatic Service where he held a number of other posts including in the European Reconstruction and Development Bank.
Director of the Graduate School at the State Islamic University of Jakarta, Azra, who holds a PhD at the Columbia University, is one of the most prominent Indonesian intellectuals with a large list of publications, particularly on contemporary Southeast Asian Islam. Azyumardi is as well the founder and editor-in-chief of Studia Islamik, an Indonesia Journal for Islamic Studies.
Researcher at the Department of International Relations of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, Muhabit is mainly involved in extensive research projects on politics and regional security in Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific. Besides that, she is currently the Chief Editor of The Indonesian Quarterly, a quarterly academic journal published by CSIS.
Segara is the current Executive Director for the Communication Department at the Central Bank of Indonesia. With an MBA at the George Washington University and experience at the International Monetary Fund as an Advisor for the Executive Director, he is one of the leading experts on Indonesian finances.
Da Silva is the Honorary Consul of Indonesia in Porto, with the grade of Commander of the same Order, as well as the President of the Committe of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Portugal and Indonesia. His trajectory makes him a prominent businessman with a large experience in the field of European investments in Indonesia.
Sugiono is a senior lecturer with an extensive career in the field of South-East Asia and a large list of publications on peace, security and international relations. He currently holds the position of Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Social Studies at the University Gadjah Mada. In the past, Sugiorno was Director of the center for Peace and Security Studies and the Head of Postgraduate Programme in International Relation for the same university.
- By Chris Kremidas Courtney
- By Jane Burston
- By Nona Zicherman
- Area of Expertise
Next event IN PERSON
- Area of Expertise
- Peace, Security & Defence