Chaban, Natalia and Holland, Martin and Jones, Brad and Chan, Kenneth and Cheung, Pui-Ki. (2005) The EU Through the Eyes of the Asia-Pacific: Public Perceptions and Media Representations. NCRE Research Series No. 4. [Working Paper]
[From the Introduction]. EU-Asia-Pacific interconnections and influences have grown significantly over the last decades. Considering the ‘Asian’ angle in the dialogue, the EU’s relations with principal and emerging partners in Asia have concentrated on trade, human rights dialogue, as well as programmes on economic, commercial and development cooperation. In recent years, security and political cooperation have contributed to a broader dialogue, involving new opportunities for diplomatic manoeuvre. A key aspect of the EU’s strategy towards Asia has been to strengthen further the mutual awareness between Europe and Asia and to reduce persisting stereotypes. What is needed is more than analyses of trade figures, tourist numbers, policy issues, common stances or areas of discord. Public opinion, in particular, has received almost no attention due to the conventional emphasis on the activities of political and business elites. Considering the ‘Pacific’ perspective of the interaction between the two regions, the EU plays a central economic role in both Australia and New Zealand. For both countries, the EU has a dominant role in trade relations, being one of the largest and the most stable long-term partners. Yet apart from the demonstrable mercantile connection, the EU, and in particular, Great Britain, are prominently woven into Australia’s and New Zealand’s social fabric. This historical connection has served as a larger gateway into Europe, with EU countries prime tourist destinations for Antipodean travellers. Moreover, both Australia and New Zealand are home to many Europeans, particularly “transplanted” Brits.
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