Diplomats, academics discuss Thai foreign policy outlook under new leadership

EU reaffirms its commitment to Thailand as a key partner for the path ahead

Cover - Diplomats, academics discuss Thai foreign policy outlook under new leadership

The fifth talk of a public forum series co-hosted by the EU Delegation to Thailand (EUD) and the Institute of Security and International Studies (ISIS Thailand) took place as a timely discourse coinciding with the election of a new prime minister only days ago.

Held on 28 August 2023, ‘Thai Foreign Policy Outlook under the Incoming Government: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose?’ delved into the implications of Thailand’s recent electoral outcomes on its foreign policy direction. Panellists from government and academia anticipated a more economically oriented foreign policy along with a respect for international values and law. They also expected the administration’s conservative lean to continue, given its coalition with parties affiliated with the previous government.

Amidst remaining questions for the future, the event served as an opportunity for the EU to reaffirm its steadfast commitment as a close partner of Thailand. Ms Sara Rezoagli, EUD’s Deputy Head of Mission, said, ‘We are looking forward to working with the new Thai Government and to continue engaging in our friendly relations with Thailand under the new partnership and cooperation agreement.’

Signed on 14 December 2022, the PCA underscores the ties between the EU and Thailand as long-standing partners that are working together in support of the rules-based international order, and to advance mutual prosperity and growth as well as regional stability in South-East Asia.

About 80 participants, including diplomats and academics as well as officials and representatives from the Royal Thai Government, international organisations, private sector and media, took part in the two-hour discussion at Chulalongkorn University.

Moderated by ISIS Thailand Director Dr Pongphisoot Busbarat, the panel featured H.E. Mr Russ Jalichandra, former Thai Ambassador; Dr Sitthiphon Kruarattikan, Professor of Political Science, Thammasat University; Dr Jittipat Poonkham, Deputy Dean and Director, International Studies Program, Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University; and Dr Bhanubhatra Jittiang, International Relations Lecturer, Chulalongkorn University.

Since September 2022, the public forum series has sought to widen public awareness and facilitate key stakeholders’ discussions on critical issues in Thailand and South-East Asia in line with the EU’s policies and values. The latest talk in April assessed the ongoing situation of Russia’s war against Ukraine, which has resulted in far-reaching consequences on Asian economies.

Details on the final talk to be held at the end of September will be announced on EUD’s social media at Facebook and Twitter.

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