The visibility of the EU lies in its ability to carry out effective public diplomacy. The data discussed in this policy paper make it clear that the EU has achieved some degree of success in building its image, which varies from country to country in the EaP region. However, a reversal in public perception of the EU cannot be ruled out either, as it may occur due to local political dynamics in the eastern neighborhood. The recommendations presented in this policy paper address the current modus operandi in the field of EU public diplomacy by analyzing, in particular, the work of EU embassies and the local popularization of EU-funded projects. To diminish the effects of the existing shortcomings, the policy paper suggests, the EU should become more involved and connected to the realities of the EaP countries and their public. Right now, the EU may be the most trusted international actor in the region, but to maintain sustainable visibility, it should be more proactive and inventive, the paper suggests.
Denis Cenusa – an Associated expert with the EESC and researcher at the Institut für Politikwissenschaft at Justus-Liebig University in Giessen (Germany), where he conducts his doctoral studies on global governance and state resilience in the EU’s neighbourhood. In 2015-2021, he has published extensively on European integration, EU-Russia interplay, good governance and energy security in Eastern Europe. Denis is also associated with the Moldovan think-tank Expert-Grup, where since 2015 has coordinated the Sida-financed project on Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with the Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels).