EXPECT examines how China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea’s expectations towards the EU’s global role are affected by a changing international environment and leadership renewal. How is the implementation of the EUGS perceived externally? Is it effective? How does Brexit, Trump and Russia alter expectations? Can the EU successfully profile its new leadership team in 3rd countries?
Methodologically, EXPECT analyzes Asian press and e-media opinion-making discourses, communications by official and think tanks and views of opinion-shaping elites. It also examines how EU Delegations in Asia communicate EUGS priorities via social media.
EXPECT draws on two decades of EU external perceptions research by the National Centre for Reseach on Europe (NCRE). EXPECT’s innovation is the conceptual evolution from “perceptions” to “expectations”. This intentionally traces how the EU’s international role is being redefined through internal (the EUGS and leadership renewal) and external (the global disruption of Trump, Brexit and Russia) drivers:
- How will expectations towards the EU be constructed in the shadow of Brexit, Trump and Russian disruptions in the 2019-22 period?
- Will the EU’s new leadership be recognised as a significant change?
- Does the EUGS resonate with Asia’s key players?
The Asian focus reflects the EUGS ambition to “deepen economic diplomacy and scale up our security role in Asia” in light of “the economic weight that Asia represents for the EU” – “peace and stability in Asia are a prerequisite for our prosperity” (EUGS 2016). EXPECT traces Asian expectations towards the EU in the context of the EUGS’ emphasis on principled pragmatism, governance and resilience. These principles guide the analytical frames used to trace the EU’s communication, recognition and reception in Asia.
Change will be studied in each country and comparatively – across locations and across time drawing on the NCRE’s internationally recognised “EU Global Perceptions” research undertaken since the Lisbon Treaty (www.euperceptions.canterbury.ac.nz).
EXPECT prioritises the dialogue between academia and practitioners and the mentoring of early career researchers by leading scholars and practitioners of EU-Asia relations. It unites leading academic experts with EXPECT’s EU Policy Impact Team comprised of media and think tank commentators and EU pracitioners. EXPECT offers multidisciplinary expertise in EU external perceptions, CFSP, public diplomacy, media and communication studies. Its research strategy examines:
- Asian official policy and analytical discourses towards the EU;
- EU communications via social media to Asian partners;
- Framing of EU expectations by opinion-making e-media and opinion-shapers;
- EU expectations among EU policy-makers, particularly early career diplomats;
- Policy recommendations to address expectations in the EUGS context.
A systematic account of EU expectations, reception and recognition by Asian actors will equip the EU with operational and programming level tools. EXPECT focuses on:
- the recognised strengths of the EU and EU messages to build on these expectations;
- key audiences which are the most receptive to EU messages;
- protocols to assess effectiveness of EU diplomacy in Asia informed by EUGS; and
- cost-effective initiatives to improve managing EU expectations, communication, recognition and reception.