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Asia In The Eyes Of Europe

How Do Europeans Perceive Asia?

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
01 Jan 10 - 31 Dec 11 Governance & Economy Department Asia in the Eyes of Europe Education

ASEM Countries


ASEF is leading a major research project, “Asia in the Eyes of Europe,” to answer this question. The two-year research project was carried out in eight EU member states and looks at the media, public, and opinion leader perceptions of Asia across Europe. The final results of this project are made available through the “Asia in the Eyes of Europe – Images of a Rising Giant”, released in June 2012.

The research project provides valued comparability to "The EU through the Eyes of Asia," a previous ASEF study looking at perceptions of the EU across Asia. The research provides feedback to policy makers and non-government actors shaping policy across Europe. The project has conducted a public opinion survey of over 6,000 respondents in collaboration with an ongoing research initiative at the London School of Economics. The media research team carried out daily analysis of 29 national media outlets across Europe -- including BBC, Le Monde, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and Euronews – collecting over 2,700 articles. The final phase of the research project involved interviews with over 100 European media professionals on their perceptions of Asia.

In addition to perceptions of Asia, researchers also tracked perceptions of the ASEM process, included the ASEM 8 summit in 2010.  


  • National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury
  • German Council on Foreign Relations
  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
  • Tsinghua University
Funded by the European Union
This project is sponsored by the Government of Japan.

Project Updates

  • European perceptions about ‘Asia’

    Published on 05 Sep 2011

    The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is currently engaged in a research project in eight EU countries. The study examines perceptions of 'Asia' among European citizens and the media. So far 13,000 public opinion surveys are conducted with over 100 face-to-face interviews of top European media professionals. Additionally over 2,700 'Asia' related articles from 29 media outlets are gathered.

    Research teams from reputed institutions are steering this study in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, and the UK. The researchers will meet project coordinators next month at a workshop in Vienna, Austria (26-27 September 2011). They will discuss and analyse the research findings. This workshop will be hosted by the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP).

    OIIP and the House of the European Union will also organise a briefing in Vienna in order for the research findings to be shared with the public.                    

    The research project is co-ordinated by a consortium of five partners: ASEF, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Konrad Adenaeur Foundation (KAS), National Centre for Research on Europe - University of Canterbury (NCRE) and Tsinghua University. 

  • How does Europe perceive Asia?

    Published on 05 Oct 2010


    The Asia Europe Foundation has embarked on a major transnational research project to examine the public, media and opinion leader perceptions of Asia amongst Europeans. The Asia in the Eyes of Europe project will carry out research in eight EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, U.K) and is a mirror of a well-established ASEF project, The EU through the Eyes of Asia which has examined perceptions of the EU in 12 Asian research locations and will be re-examining some of the major research locations in the near future.

    According to the preliminary findings of the “Asia in the Eyes of Europe” Public Opinion Survey, the majority of respondents in each location cited “Trade” as the number one issue for their country’s co-operation with Asia, the second most popular response was “Human Rights and Democracy”, with “Environmental Protection” the third most popular response. This trend is similar to the findings of “The EU through the Eyes of Asia” research project, which highlighted the perception of the EU as a predominantly Economic and Political actor in Asia, though interestingly, the EU was not perceived by a dominant environmental actor among Asian respondents and media. 

    The most recent findings of “The EU through the Eyes of Asia” research project were presented at a recent Europe-Asia Policy Forum event in Brussels by Dr. Natalia Chaban, Deputy Director of the National Centre for Research on Europe - University of Canterbury, a longstanding partner in the project. To view a video podcast of the presentation, click here.

    For more information on the projects structure, methodology and for further findings please visit,