From 22–24 May 2014 nearly 300 academics and policy practitioners gathered in Brussels, Belgium for the 2014 European Union in International Affairs Conference. Co-organized by the UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies, the biannual conference provides one of the most important venues for international studies scholars and policy specialists to gather and discuss the role of the EU in the dynamic realm of international affairs.
On 22 May, UNU Rector David M. Malone gave the conference’s opening keynote address (viewable in the video below). In the address Rector Malone discusses UN–EU relations in the context of the three UN pillars: peace and security, human rights, and development. He discusses the outlook for UN-EU relations considering recent and continuing world crises, and where these relations branch, merge and conflict.
He moves on to explore how outsiders currently view the EU, focusing on the perspective of Asia through the experience of India-EU relations. He emphasizes the persistent EU struggle to emerge from the economic crisis and points to this as a current “motor of international relations” noting that a continuing crisis for Europe is a continuing crisis for the world because it hinders the EU in its recognized role as a positive actor and “contributor of very attractive ideas”.