Public, Elite and Media Perceptions of the EU in Asia Pacific Region: a comparative study

Details

Time line

2004-2005

Countries in focus

Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand

Project goals

EU-Asia-Pacific interconnections and influences have grown significantly over the last decades. Given the Asia-Pacific’s economic, political, cultural, and historical ties to Europe, it seems natural to ask how both sub-regions – Asia and Pacific -- perceive the EU. What do individuals know about the EU? How does the EU ‘stack up’ against other regions and countries in the world? How much “connectivity” is there between these nations and Europe? And what issues do the four nations see as important in relation to the EU?

Considering the ‘Asian’ angle in the dialogue (represented in this study by South Korea and Thailand), the EU’s relations with principal and emerging partners in Asia have traditionally concentrated on trade and, recently, on human rights dialogue, as well as programmes on economic, commercial and development cooperation. In recent years, security and political cooperation have contributed to a broader agenda, involving new opportunities for diplomatic manoeuvre. A key aspect of the EU’s strategy towards Asia has been to strengthen further the mutual awareness between Europe and Asia and to reduce persisting stereotypes. What is needed is more than analyses of trade figures, tourist numbers, policy issues, common stances or areas of discord. Public opinion and media production in particular, have received almost no attention due to the conventional emphasis on the activities of political and business elites.

Considering the ‘Pacific’ perspective of the interaction between the two regions, the EU plays a central economic role for two leaders of Oceania -- Australia and New Zealand. For both countries, the EU has a dominant role in trade relations, being one of the largest and the most stable long-term partners. Yet apart from the demonstrable mercantile connection, the EU, and in particular, Great Britain, are prominently woven into Australia’s and New Zealand’s social fabric. This historical connection has served as a larger gateway into Europe, with EU countries prime tourist destinations for Antipodean travellers. Moreover, both Australia and New Zealand are home to many Europeans, particularly “transplanted” Brits.

Four case-studies in the Asia-Pacific – EU perceptions by Australians, New Zealanders, South Koreans and Thais – cover an important but under-studied topic – external perceptions of the European Union.  The cases do so with comparative reference to countries that are both important but also have the virtue of not being merely the ‘usual suspects’. A range of topics, a diverse international team and a variety of methodologies employed add to the pluralism and strength of this research project.

Media analysis

Year

Duration

Country

‘Popular' Newspaper

‘Business' Newspaper

‘English-language' Newspaper

Total # of NP articles

TV Channel

Total # of

2006 12 months China People's Daily International Finance News China Daily 1831 CCTV 148
2006 12 months Hong Kong Oriental Daily Hong KongEconomic Journal South ChinaMorning Post 2154 TVB Jade 16
2006 12 months South Korea Chosun Daily Maeil Business Korea Herald 927 KBS 36
2006 12 months Singapore Lienhe Zaobao Business Times Straits Times 2406 Channel 8 16
2006 12 months Thailand Thai Rath The Manager Bangkok Post 975 ITV 25
2006 6 months Japan Yomiuri Shimbun Nihon Keizai Shimbun The Japan Times 770 n/a  
2008 6 months Vietnam Youth VNET Vietnam News 207 VTV1 21
2008 6 months Indonesia Kompas Bisnis Indonesia Jakarta Post 640 TVRI 50
2008 6 months The Philippines Philippine Daily Inquirer Business World Manila Bulletin 255 GMA 7 24 Oras 1
2009 6 months SAR Macau            
2009 6 months India            
2009 6 months Malaysia            

Public opinion analysis

Date

Country

Method

Sample size

Fieldwork institute

Nov-06 Thailand Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
Nov-06 South Korea Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
Nov-06 Singapore Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
Nov-06 SAR Hong Kong Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
Nov-06 Japan Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
Dec-06 China Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
Nov-08 Vietnam Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
Nov-08 Indonesia Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
Nov-08 Philippines Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
2010 SAR Macau Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
2010 Malaysia Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS
2010 India Online panels, 23 questions 400 respondents TNS

Elite opinion analysis

Date

Country

Method

Number of interviews

March-August 2007 Thailand Semi-structured, face-to-face 16
March-August 2007 South Korea Semi-structured, face-to-face 27
March-August 2007 Singapore Semi-structured, face-to-face 32
March-August 2007 SAR Hong Kong Semi-structured, face-to-face 31
March-August 2007 China Semi-structured, face-to-face 32
March-August 2007 Japan Semi-structured, face-to-face 32
March-July 2008 Vietnam Semi-structured, face-to-face 32
March-July 2008 Indonesia Semi-structured, face-to-face 32
March-July 2008 Philippines Semi-structured, face-to-face 31
September 2009- December 2010 India Semi-structured, face-to-face  
September 2009- December 2010 Malaysia Semi-structured, face-to-face  
September 2009- December 2010 SAR Macau Semi-structured, face-to-face  

Project leader and coordinator

Associate Professor Natalia Chaban
National Centre for Research on Europe

Project supervisor

Professor Martin Holland
National Centre for Research on Europe

Project associated supervisors

  • Apirat Pechsiri - Professor, the Multidisciplinary Department of European Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand;
  • Philomena Murray - Associate Professor, the Contemporary Europe Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia 
  • Sung-Hoon Park - Professor, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul, South Korea

Project researchers

  • Katrina Stats - Contemporary Europe Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Dr. Jessica Bain - National Centre for Research on Europe, Univesrity of Cnaterbuyr. NZ
  • Paveena Sutthisripok - Multidisciplinary Department of European Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Kim Se Na - Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul, South Korea

International associates

  • Michael Bruter - London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK
  • Kenneth Chan - Associate Professor at the Department of Government and International Studies Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
  • Ole Elgström - Professor of Political Science Lund University, Sweden
  • Brad Jones - Associate Professor, Political Science Department, University of Arizona, USA

Students associated with research

Jessica Bain, PhD student
National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury
Thesis Title: Europe at 6pm: Images of the EU in New Zealand Television News

Katrina Stats, MA student
Contemporary Europe Research Centre, University of Melbourne
Thesis Title: Representations of the European Union in the Australian Media

Terri Curin, BA (Honours) student
National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury
Primary Research Focus: The faces of the European Union in New Zealand and Australian print media 2004

Maria Rogahn, BA student
Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Primary Research Focus: A mediator in a global world? - How the EU's involvement in foreign affairs is portrayed by NZ and Australian Media

Project Events

Date

Selection of the research fellows in the listed countries January-February 2004
Orientation research training workshop "Project Research Methodology", NCRE, NZ March 2004
Media monitoring and content analysis of national news print and broadcast media January 2004- December 2004
“Launching the project” 
NCRE Research Seminar presentation, NCRE, NZ
March 2004
Research training seminar #2, NCRE, NZ. 
Joint research group work in NZ on comparing media findings
September 2004
Panel presentation on media findings at the International conference "Outside Looking In" organized by EUSA-NZ, EUSA - Asia-Pacific, and NCRE, 9-11 September, Christchurch, NZ September 2004
National Survey design. 
Translation of the Questionnaires.
November 2004
Presentation of the project findings to the delegation of Italian MPs visiting the NCRE November 2004
Survey implementation at four countries (with the help of professional social research groups) December 2004
Research training seminar #3, 
The Multidisciplinary Department of European Studies, Bangkok, Thailand
February 2005
Panel presentation “Media Images of the EU in Asia-Pacific Region in 2004” at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, to the members of academic and political communities and to the EU Delegation in Thailand February 2005
Presentation of the project findings at the NCRE seminar “EU Images in the Asia-Pacific print and television media: comparative analysis”, Christchurch, NCRE, NZ February 2005
Presentation of the project findings (media stage) to the NCRE Businesses Advisory Group and the EU Delegation to NZ, Wellington, NZ March 2005
Analysis of survey results January-June 2005
Research training seminar #4, CERC, Melbourne, Australia May 2005
Presentation of the project findings (public survey results) to the NCRE Businesses Advisory Group and the EU Delegation to NZ, Wellington, NZ June 2005
Elite interviews July - September 2005
(May-June 2006 in South Korea)
Analysis of elite interviews findings September-November 2005
Writing and publishing monograph 
N. Chaban and M. Holland (2005) 
The EU through the Eyes of the Asia-Pacific: Public Perceptions and Media Representations
October-November 2005
Series of seminars, publications and conference presentations on the public and elite opinions findings (locally, regionally, internationally) 2004-2005
Research training seminar #5, NCRE, University of Canterbury, NZ November 2005
Final Workshop on Project "EU and the dialogue between the people and cultures" within the ECSA framework, Te Papa, Wellington, NZ 24-25 November 2005
Writing and publishing brochure
Martin Holland, Natalia Chaban, Jessica Bain, Katrina Stats, Paveena Sutthisripok 
EU in the Views of Asia-Pacific Elites”. Full Text
November-December 2005
Submitting book proposal to Routledge.  
Natalia Chaban and Martin Holland (eds.) 
“The European Union and the Asia–Pacific: Media, Public and Elite Perceptions of the EU”
October-December 2005
Publication of the book 2008

The project was launched in January 2004 by the National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and supported by three other research centres: the Multidisciplinary Department of European Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; the Contemporary Europe Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia, and the Graduate School of International Studies, South Korea.

The project was initiated through the four EU studies associations in the region — EUSANZ, EUSA-Thai, CESAA, and EUSA-Korea—all of whom are members of the world ECSA body.