Institutions, Policies and Challenges
Edited by Normann Witzleb, Alfonso Martínez Arranz and Pascaline Winand Winand
Chapter 13: Dysfunctional relations? Asian stakeholder views on the European Union
Involvement with Asia is heralded as one of the principal areas of action for the external affairs of the European Union (EU), both through region-to-region agreements (such as ASEM and EU-ASEAN relations) as well as on a country-to-country basis. However, a number of commentators have noted that the EU’s dialogue with Asia is becoming dysfunctional and that it has a weak political imprint in Asia. To test this claim, this chapter will focus on EU perceptions in Asia. The analysis uses data generated by a pioneering trans-national comparative research project ‘The EU in the Eyes of Asia-Pacific’ which surveys news media coverage of the EU, as well as public and national stakeholders’ opinions towards the Union (ongoing since 2002). This chapter features a comparative analysis of stakeholder views in six Asian countries – China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines – and examines the perceptions of the EU as an international leader, a global power and as an important local counterpart. These findings are then positioned within the debate on the post-Lisbon EU’s expectations and capabilities in Asia.
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