The European Union (EU) is often considered as an economic giant but a political dwarf. For this reason it is sometimes forgotten in the usual analysis of Great Power politics in the South Asian context. Such analysis tends to focus mainly on the United States and China. However, it would be simplistic to exclude the EU as a global actor with an international impact. The goal of this Dialogue will be to examine the kind of influence it has had on South Asian geopolitics. This Dialogue will concentrate on two important issues. First, it will analyze the contemporary relationship between the EU and India. A scrutiny of its relationship with the most influential country in South Asia will be a way to better comprehend the collective policy of the Europeans in this part of the world.
Second, it will examine France’s policy with regard to Afghanistan. Its troops have been part of the coalition fighting the Taliban since late 2001. What kind of policy is France likely to pursue after US and NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan vis-à-vis that country?
Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury Senior Research Fellow Institute of South Asian Studies
Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury was Foreign Advisor (Foreign Minister) of Bangladesh from 2007 to 2009. During his four decades of public service career, he has held the posts as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to both New York (2001-2007), and Geneva (1996-2001). Dr Chowdhury was knighted by the Pope in 1999. In 2004, the New York City Council named him as ‘one of the world’s leading diplomats’, acknowledging his global contribution to advancing welfare, alleviating poverty and combating terrorism. Dr Chowdhury has addressed seminars in universities and think-tanks around the world. He also regularly contributes articles to learned journals and newspapers.
Dr Chowdhury has a PhD and MA in International Relations from Australian National University, Canberra. He obtained a First Class in BA (Honours) from Dhaka University.
Mr Nicolas BizelAdministrator in the Finances and Contracts DepartmentThe Delegation of the European Union in Morocco
Nicolas Bizel is a European Diplomat, now working as an Administrator in the Finances and Contracts Department for the Delegation of the European Union in Morocco. He specializes in questions relating to the external policy of the European Union as well as issues relating to the budget of the EU. He graduated in Finance and Economy at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris (Sciences Po Paris) and from Dauphine University.
Mr Didier ChaudetResearch FellowInstitute of South Asian Studies
Didier Chaudet is a Research Fellow at ISAS. He is specializes on security-related issues and on foreign affairs related to Pakistan and Afghanistan. He also works on Iranian foreign policy towards South Asia, and on Central Asian issues. He is an invited contributor to Huffington Post – France on Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Before joining ISAS, he was a Lecturer at the Institute of Political Studies (South and Central Asian Studies) and a Researcher at IFRI (French Institute of International Relations) in charge of Central Asia and Afghanistan. He also was a Fox Fellow at Yale University (McMillan Center for International Affairs). He has two MAs from the Institute of Political Studies and is completing a PhD in this institution.