Ever changing, ever deepening, the evolution of Europe-Asia relations in recent years has shown how interconnected the two really are. The spread of COVID-19 has been further proof of these connections, challenging the way we think about the relationship between East and West. Rather than let this moment sow divisions, however, the crisis could be an opportunity to expand cooperation and collaboration. This Strategic Conversation with Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and Pacific at the European External Action Service (EEAS), will look at current challenges and future prospects for the Europe-Asia relationship.
This new Strategic Conversations series invites key policymakers to share their views on a range of important and strategically relevant issues through interviews with senior thinkers on the Friends of Europe team.
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- What steps is the EEAS taking to respond to this crisis, and what are the lessons being learned?
- How can East and West build new cooperation agreements based on pandemic preparedness?
- What effect will the COVID-19 crisis have on Europe-Asia connectivity?
With more than twenty years’ experience in the EU’s external relations and trade policy, Gunnar Wiegand has previously served as Spokesman for External Relations to Commissioner Chris Patten; Head of Unit for Relations with the United States and Canada at the European Commission’s External Relations Directorate-General; and Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia at the EEAS, during which time he was the EU’s Chief Negotiator for the Association Agreements with Moldova, Georgia and Armenia, as well as the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan. Wiegand also acted as the EU’s Chief Negotiator for the new EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement.
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