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The COVID-19 pandemic has hit us all in our own unique ways. To mitigate the spread of the corona virus and alleviate some of its consequences governments have been requesting their citizens to work from home whenever possible. Surely, this has opened up the wonderful world of working comfortably in your pyjama’s, but online communication also seriously impedes the quality of human communication. In the diplomatic world, ambassadors are challenged with navigating online-negotiations as international politics continue and decisions remain to be taken. How do diplomats ensure negotiations run smoothly? 


The winter seminar of 2021 offered insights into this question through both a theoretical and practical approach. Along with introducing our students to general concepts of diplomacy and negotiation, special attention was dedicated to understanding how digitisation impacts the world of international negotiations. As our lives become increasingly online, new hazards to successful international relations like digital misinformation and cybercrime emerge. How can a negotiation still be successful in the midst of this digital negotiation arena? 


The program of 2021 included speakers like Paul Meerts, Corneliu Bjola, Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, Hans van den Berg and three practicing diplomats. Students were offered the opportunity to expand their (international) network with networking sessions and practice their skills in a newly developed diplomatic simulation. Participants represented a country or an international organisation and were expected to prepare a position, and negotiate an agreement.


I could feel the love for the discipline of diplomacy through my screen. Even though we couldn't see each other in real life in The Hague, the Young Diplomat team did manage to give a good insight into and lessons from the world of diplomacy by sharing knowledge, skills and anecdotes from real-life by involving both practitioners and professors from the field. In doing so, it has brought me closer to reaching my goal for which I am thankful.

Whereas in digital form, the Winter 
School has allowed me both to 
apperceive diplomacy and to recognize 
myself in it, opportunities like this 
in fact reveal us to others and even 
more to ourselves. The Young Diplomat 
was one of the most proactive, 
interactive and interested occasions 
of my academic career

The Winter Seminar was an incredibly immersive and informative experience that took advantage of the current digital landscape to bring in diverse speakers and organize a simulation that flowed seamlessly, even on zoom. As a first-glance at diplomacy, this seminar will definitely enthuse anyone considering a career in diplomacy

Image by Kyle Glenn


Sunday 14th of Febrary 2021

20.00 - 21.00ish

Online welcome and introductions


Monday 15th of February 2021

19.00 - 21.00 

Panel on Online Diplomacy

Pascalle Grotenhuis (Director Social Development & Ambassador for Women’s Rights & Gender Equality), Lisa Gotoh (Policy Officer Sustainable Development at Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations) and Burak Han Çevik (Policy Officer Water Diplomacy at Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Zoom Panel

Wednesday 17th of February

19:00 - 21.00

Introductions to International Negotiation & Diplomacy

Dr. P.W. Meerts (International Negotiation Analyst, Clingendael Institute & College of Europe)

Interactive Zoom Workshop

Friday 19th of February 
19:00 - 21:00

Power & Strategies in International Diplomacy & Negotiations

H.B. van den Berg, MSc. (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Departement of Public Administration & Sociology, President of The Young Diplomat)

Interactive Zoom Workshop

Saturday 20th of February


The Dark Side of Digital Diplomacy: Tactics for Countering Digital Disinformation
Professor Corneliu Bjola (Associate Dr. Professor of Diplomatic Studies at Oxford University)

Interactive Zoom Lecture


At the Frontline of Cyber Security (Estonia, Russia and NATO)
Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar (Ambassador at Large for Cyber Diplomacy and Director for Cyber Diplomacy Department at Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Interactive Zoom Lecture

Sunday 21th of February

10.00 - 17.00

Digital Diplomacy Simulation

Zoom Conference

Winter Seminar 2021: Over ons
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