The European Union in the eyes of others: towards filling a gap in the literature

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Series Details Vol.12, No.3, Autumn 2007, p249-270
Publication Date September 2007
ISSN 1384-6299
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Article is part of a special issue ‘Beyond self-perception: the others’ view of the European Union’.


Building on François Duchêne’s concept ‘civilian power Europe’, a growing number of scholars have asserted the EU’s distinciveness as an international actor. This has resulted in a lively debate among supporters of the thesis and sceptical scholars. What this literature has failed to investigate so far is the extent to which the EU is (or is not) regarded as a distinctive world power by other international actors. This is precisely what this article aims to do. Building on the results of a survey on The External Image of the European Union, coordinated by the author in the framework of the Network of Excellence GARNET, the article sums up the prevalent images of the EU in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Japan, India and South Africa, and at the level of NGOs and Commission delegations.

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