Communicating Europe in third countries

15-03-2017

Work on implementing the EU's global strategy for 2016-2017 includes stepping up public diplomacy efforts as one of the priority areas. A number of factors motivated this move. Firstly, the substantial resources committed for relief and recovery assistance to Syrian refugees and their host communities in neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt have had little impact on public awareness of the existing European cooperation programmes. The visibility of EU funds has also been limited in the 10 EU strategic partner countries, where the profile of EU programmes is still low. Secondly, the need for a strategic EU approach to communication also results from intensified propaganda and disinformation campaigns seeking to discredit the EU and eventually undermine its position. Thirdly, effective EU communication in third countries plays a key role in countering jihadist propaganda in the EU's neighbourhood and its spilling over into EU territory. This briefing has been adapted from an earlier one prepared for the annual meeting of EU Ambassadors and Members of the European Parliament on 'Support to democracy in third countries: the EU's added value', held in September 2016.

Work on implementing the EU's global strategy for 2016-2017 includes stepping up public diplomacy efforts as one of the priority areas. A number of factors motivated this move. Firstly, the substantial resources committed for relief and recovery assistance to Syrian refugees and their host communities in neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt have had little impact on public awareness of the existing European cooperation programmes. The visibility of EU funds has also been limited in the 10 EU strategic partner countries, where the profile of EU programmes is still low. Secondly, the need for a strategic EU approach to communication also results from intensified propaganda and disinformation campaigns seeking to discredit the EU and eventually undermine its position. Thirdly, effective EU communication in third countries plays a key role in countering jihadist propaganda in the EU's neighbourhood and its spilling over into EU territory. This briefing has been adapted from an earlier one prepared for the annual meeting of EU Ambassadors and Members of the European Parliament on 'Support to democracy in third countries: the EU's added value', held in September 2016.