The European Union practices public diplomacy through a multilayered framework of policies and programs, relying both on its Representations in member-states, as well as its Delegations abroad. With its internal communication strategy the Union aims to engage EU-citizens more closely in its political life and to create a sense of common identity. Its communication strategy for enlargement, on the other hand, is designed to explain the goals and responsibilities of the European project to membership-aspiring countries, as well as to promote the benefits of enlargement to domestic Euro-skeptics. The European Neighborhood Policy, providing for yet another layer of regional integration and governance, is directed towards the EU's immediate neighbors by land and sea who have not been offered the perspective of membership. Finally, through its network of Delegations abroad, the EU strives to assert itself on the international stage and regulates its relations with "third" countries. Although essentially aimed at developing a public diplomacy capability, most of the outreach activities of the EU are not officially referred to as "public diplomacy", but are described as information and communication campaigns, or education and cultural exchange programs. These efforts are intended not only to inform and explain the workings of EU institutions but also to socialize into the norms and values of the Union. The European Commission is the institution responsible for conducting the Union's diplomacy and public diplomacy efforts. While other EU bodies have also initiated public diplomacy programs, the Commission is the one providing the executive action.

European Commission Policies and Initiatives

International Broadcasting

Euronews - The European Perspective on International News

Public Opinion Polls


Further Reading

Sport & Intercultural Dialogue, LinksDossier, EurActiv.com, 25 March 2008

Blogs: Filling the EU's 'communication gap'?, LinksDossier, EurActive.com, 19 June 2007

50 Years of EU in the World, YouTube, 8 June 2007

The External Image of the European Union, Garnet Working Paper No. 17/07

The EU 50th Anniversary celebration around the world. A glance at the EU’s public diplomacy. European Commission, 2007

European Infopolitik: Developing EU Public Diplomacy Strategy, The Foreign Policy Centre, November 2005

White Paper on a European Communication Policy, European Commission, Brussels, 1 February 2006

Communicating Europe to the world: what public diplomacy for the EU?, European Policy Centre Working Paper No.21, November 2005

Public Diplomacy and EU Enlargement: The Case of Poland, Beata Ociepka and Marta Ryniejska, Netherlands Institute of International Relations "Clingendael," 2005

The European Union and Canada, European Commission, July 2005

A world player. The European Union’s external relations, European Communities, 2004

The European Union and the United States. Global partners, global responsibilities, European Commission, June 2004

Wider Europe—Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, Brussels, 11 March 2003.

About the Author

Iskra Kirova, USC Center on Public Diplomacy Research Associate

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