ASEF organised a briefing in Singapore (7 July) to present the latest findings of the newest phase of “The EU through the Eyes of Asia” research study. One of the major trends that emerged from the research was the dominant portrayal of the EU as an economic actor in news in the region due to the Eurozone crisis. This has impacted the European External Action Service (EEAS)’s ability to project itself as the voice of the EU. As panellist and research co-ordinator Prof. Martin Holland stated, “The ‘face’ of the EU in 2011 has been Jean Claude Trichet and not José Manuel Baroso, Herman Van Rumpoy or Catherine Ashton”.

This latest phase of the study examines the perceptions of the EU in 10 Asian and new member countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The findings include the results of six months of daily detailed analysis of EU related news featured in over 40 media outlets across the 10 locations. Speakers at the panel briefing highlighted the findings of the national news media research, carried out between January and June 2011. The cases of Singapore and China were highlighted for the briefing.