“To Assert its Identity on the International Scene”: Visibility and the European Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP)

Title

“To Assert its Identity on the International Scene”: Visibility and the European Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP)

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Research Question

Politicians have consciously used the CSDP to create “Euro-citizens” because of its consistent high levels of popular support and its high-profile nature. By using the media to draw attention to EU actions overseas, CSDP missions were supposed to heighten public awareness of the EU itself. In a pep-talk to French and German soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan, French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told them, "Your presence is proof that Europe exists and is capable of bringing its weight to bear on the great crises shaking our planet." Nevertheless, over the past decade, the CSDP missions have garnered almost no news coverage at all. Why?

Significance

Can the EU, as dictated by the Maastricht treaty “Assert its Identity on the International Scene” if its missions are not newsworthy? What are the implications for a ‘United States of Europe’?

Methods Used

Through interviews with EU decision makers in Brussels, Anderson investigates the rationale behind the CSDP as an identity-building tool and the reasons why it failed to live up to its potential.

Conclusions/Outcomes

CSDP missions get little coverage because of a lack of professionalism, too little funding, structural changes within journalism itself, the lack of a cohesive communications strategy within the EU, and an atmosphere of competition with the member states for news coverage. These problems reduce the effectiveness of the CSDP missions in increasing the influence of the EU and its values across the world.

Publication Date

2015

Department

Political Science

Disciplines

Political Science

“To Assert its Identity on the International Scene”: Visibility and the European Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP)

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