Facing the giant : southern perspectives on the European UnionFacing the giant : southern perspectives on the European Union
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Third world quarterly / Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies [London] - London, 1979, currens
29(2008):1, p. 167-180
University of Antwerp
The European Union portrays itself as a different global actor. This self-representation has triggered a debate around the EU as a global normative power, while providing momentum for innovative research into how other societies view and assess the global performance of the EU. For the first time this article presents the findings of a study conducted respectively in Brazil, India and South Africa. As leading nations of the global South, these three countries offer important insights into how the EU is perceived not only in emerging markets, but also in the so-called developing world at large. The findings reveal that the EU is an unknown entity to most citizens in these countries and is rarely covered by local media. Moreover, it is often criticised for inconsistencies and double standards by political elites and civil society, especially in the area of international trade, while being praised as a successful example of regional integration.