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Mutual Perceptions of Asia and the EU in a Changing Global Environment

The View from Australia and New Zealand

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
07/11/2012 - 09/11/2012 Ronan Joseph Lenihan Political and Economic Department European Studies In Asia (ESiA) Education
Economy & Society


Venue:
Wellington, New Zealand
Canberra, Australia

Leaders of Australia and New Zealand have attend only their second Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Laos this November. With this in mind, it is an important time to question how both countries can best position themselves in their relations with a wider Asia and Europe. With the sovereign debt crisis a lingering risk in Europe and Asia’s rise continuing, all be it at a slower pace, it is important to ask how best to respond? How have views of the EU shifted in this uncertain time? And, how does the rising importance of Asia affect its outlook?  

In response to these questions, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), organised briefing events in Wellington (7 November) and Canberra (9 November) to examine the mutual perceptions of Asia and the EU in this changing global landscape. The briefings analyse the outcomes of the unique study, “The EU through the Eyes of Asia” which examines media, public and opinion leader perceptions of the “EU” in 10 countries across Asia including both Australia and New Zealand.

The study provides unique insights into the relations between the Asia-Pacific and the EU in this era of economic uncertainty and shifting global power. The “EU through the Eyes of Asia”, has analysed over 8,000 news items, interviewed over 300 opinion leaders and surveyed over 10,000 public respondents on their perceptions of the EU. The research gives an understanding of how the EU is perceived by a wide-section of civil society across the Asia Pacific, providing insights into the importance of the EU for its external partners.

In addition, the seminar featured a presentation on a mirror study, ‘Asia in the Eyes of Europe’, which tracked and analysed the perception of a ‘Asia’ in 8 EU member states. Using a similar methodology, the research offers a unique insight into the perception of Asia’s rise through various lenses. 

For an insight into the studies, see the presentations in the document section.

To view the presentations from New Zealand, see www.euanz.tv

Partners

  • National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury
  • European Union Centres Network - New Zealand
  • Delegation of the European Union to Australia and New Zealand
  • Australian National University
ASEF's contribution is with the financial support of the European Commission.
This project is sponsored by the Government of Japan.

Project Updates

  • ASEF’s first activity in New Zealand

    Published on 26 Nov 2012

    The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) teamed up with the National Centre for Research on Europe - University of Canterbury (NCRE) and the EU Centres Network - New Zealand (EUCN) to hold its first official event in New Zealand. 

    Held at the Parliament building in Wellington, the seminar, "Mutual Perceptions of Asia and the EU in a Changing Global Environment - The view from New Zealand", was hosted by Charles Chauvel MP, Chairman of the New Zealand – EU Parliamentary Friendship Group.

    The event opened with a traditional Maori welcome, the Whaikōrero, welcoming all attendees. It was followed by the presentation of the latest findings of the "EU through the Eyes of Asia" research project. The study examines the public, opinion leader and media perceptions of the EU in 10 Asian ASEM countries, including New Zealand.

    The seminar was a part of a series of briefings on the findings of ASEF’s research projects on ‘perceptions’. So far, the briefings have been held in 10 cities across Asia and Europe.

    Read more…

  • With leaders from Australia and New Zealand travelling to Vientiane, Lao PDR this month for their second Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), questions will be raised on how to improve their engagement with Asia and Europe. Historical links to Europe and increasingly stronger ties with Asia mean both Australia and New Zealand offer a unique perspective within the ASEM dialogue process. To review these perspectives and understand how both countries relate to the EU, ASEF will organise briefings in Wellington, New Zealand (7 November 2012) and Canberra, Australia (9 November 2012).

    These public briefings will share the findings of ‘The EU through the Eyes of Asia’ research project. The study traces the public, media and opinion leaders’ perceptions of the EU in 10 countries across the Asia-Pacific, including both Australia and New Zealand. The study showed that the media coverage of the EU in New Zealand and Australia focused, to a large degree, on the sovereign debt crisis as economic affairs made up over 50% of the news items analysed. Interestingly, the public in both countries consider Asian countries as more important future partners for their country than the EU. According to the study, the EU ranked 6th, while China and Japan were featured in the top 3 for both countries.

    The briefings will also feature a presentation on the findings from the ‘Asia in the Eyes of Europe’ study, which illustrates the rise of Asia as seen from a European perspective.

    The events will be held in partnership with the New Zealand - European Union Centres Network (EUCN), National Centre for Research on Europe – University of Canterbury (NCRE), the Centre for European Studies – Australia National University (ANUCES), with the support of the Delegation of the European Union to Australia and New Zealand.

    Read more…