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Images of the EU - the view from Australia and New Zealand

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

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.

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