On July 12th 2012, The Department of International Relations, FISIPOL UGM had just organized Convention of the European Studies in Indonesia with H.E. Arif Havas Oegroseno (Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Belgium, Luxembourg, and European Union) and H.E. Nicos Panayi (Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to Indonesia). The convention, which attended by 200 participants from 23 universities and 3 ministries, points out the Indonesia ? EU bilateral relations update, particularly in respect of economic and social issues.
Indonesia and EU relations had taken into the next step after the signing of ?Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between Indonesia and the European Union)? in 2009. H.E. Oegroseno stated ?Indonesia is the first Asian country who signs this agreement, and now other countries in the region started to follow us?. He then added that through the PCA, Indonesia could be the first country to have an intensive cooperation with the academics network in EU. Meanwhile, H.E. Panayi said ?Cyprus was pleased to ratify the PCA in March last year, and we are looking forward to realizing the benefits for both countries? respected citizens?. He also addressed that the PCA has inspired cooperation in human rights issues. Collaboration on counter-terrorism is now ongoing with BNPT (Indonesian Counter-Terrorism Agency) as well as interfaith dialogue with Indonesian social groups.
Both ambassadors agreed that the biggest challenge in strengthening a bilateral cooperation also comes from how to enforce the people-to-people interactionx. H.E. Oegroseno used the Indonesia ? USA relations as an example, where there are many programs or communities that solely focus on Indonesia such as Harvard School of Government Special Program on Indonesia, Yale Indonesia Forum, Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, Indonesian Study Program of UCLA, and Special Degree Program on Indonesia in Ohio State University. The Indonesian ambassador added that such program could only found in Netherlands and have not been spread into the other members of EU yet. H.E. Panayi stated that Cyprus recently holds several cultural festivals in Indonesia and hopes the same kind of programs could be also taken by Indonesia in Cyprus or EU annually to promote the Indonesian cultures. In their closing remarks, both regarded the convention as a crucial platform to build people-to-people interactions especially in the academic communities and hopes that more alike events could be annually organized.