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Conference Papers Year : 2021

The EU's use of public diplomacy on social networks: 2015-2020.

Anne-Marie Cotton


Purpose: The European External Action Service (EEAS) is a relatively new diplomatic service established in 2010. In previous analyses, we noted a dominance of security and foreign policy messages emanating from the EEAS, signs of the EU's negotiating power. It was clear it had discovered the benefits of public diplomacy, but rather practiced traditional diplomacy on public diplomacy specific platforms. We are willing to continue the analysis on the same social platform (Twitter) to deduce the evolution of its public diplomacy practices. Methodology: Questioning if the EEAS is entering the second phase of its life cycle (launched in 2010, its introduction phase was under Katherine Ashton, 2009-2014, followed by Federica Mogherini, 2014-2019, and Josep Borrell, 2019-2024), we carried out a content analysis on 765 tweets. We compared how the European Union uses public diplomacy through its EEAS to negotiate its own interests with non-EU parties under the presidency of Federica Mogherini (period 1), during the transition period (period 2), and under the presidency of Joseph Borrell (period 3). Finding: Beside a global validation of our methodology, we demonstrated that the overall discourse of the EEAS is much more oriented towards public diplomacy. Originality: This case study is based on the principles of citizen science and demonstrates the importance of an off-centred approach in the analysis of the practices of public diplomacy.
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hal-03394623 , version 1 (22-10-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-03394623 , version 1


Boulanger Hélène, Anne-Marie Cotton. The EU's use of public diplomacy on social networks: 2015-2020.. Marpe Conference Diplo: Fostering European Citizenship through Public, Organisational and Civic Diplomacy, Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas (ISCSP, Université de Lisbonne), May 2021, Lisbonne, Portugal. ⟨hal-03394623⟩
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