External Images of the EU

The project “External Images of the EU (EXIE)” focuses on two major global challenges that the European Union (EU) is currently facing: 1) the establishment of a multipolar world order with emerging powers as prospective cooperation partners; and 2) the challenges of creating a secure, competitive and sustainable EU External Energy Policy (EUEEP). 


The following objectives shape our research programme:

1. To identify the EU’s self-visions (response to the euro debt crisis, and in this context, images of the EUEEP) communicated via reputable news media.
2. To identify external media images of the EU responding to the euro debt crisis and, in this context, of its EEP (five case-studies of BRICS).
3. To compare internal vs. external media framing of the EUEEP, as well as vs. the framing of external energy policy of other global energy actors.
4. To compare the EU’s and the BRICS interpretations of the three norms of energy security, sustainability and competitiveness.
5. To outline recommendations which use images and perceptions to show EU policy makers how external images could facilitate (or subvert) the EU’s future “Good External Energy Governance” in an increasingly multipolar world. 

Ultimately, this research will facilitate a comprehensive approach towards global awareness of a more cooperative multipolar external energy regime.
The comparison between self- and xeno-visions will highlight the areas of misunderstanding, miscommunication and misperception tainting the EU’s dialogues with Emerging Powers in the energy field. Energy is a cross-cutting issue involving the policy fields of external relations, trade, energy, development, environment, human rights and climate policies.


Project Workshop, April 2013

EXIE’s second project workshop took place at the National Centre for
Research on Europe (NCRE), Canterbury University in New Zealand from
March 25th-28th. First results of the media analyses for the BRICS and
Germany, France, UK as well as the EU shed light on perceptions,
self- and media images of energy policies as well as on the most
important partners in energy matters.

Kick-Off Conference, November 2012

Our research team has acquired more expertise in researching normative orientations in energy policies. A team of international scholars will conduct media analyses and explore the interpretation of energy policies in different contexts. The kick-off conference with all project partners has taken place in Darmstadt from 8th to 12th November 2012.


Project partners

  • Prof. Dr. Michele Knodt and Nadine Piefer and Carolina Guimaraes and Louise Nielsen, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • Prof. Martin Holland and Dr. Natalia Chaban and Suet Yi Lai, University of Canterbury
  • Prof. Amy Verdun and Anastasia Chebakova and Anais Lenoir, University of Victoria
  • Dr. Lorenzo Fioramonti and Juan-José Miranda Budge, University of Pretoria
  • Dr. Jessica Bain, University of Leicester
  • Assis. Prof. Shreya Pandey, Central University of Jharkhand

The project is funded by the Jean Monnet Programme of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme.


Vergleichende Analyse politi-
scher Systeme und Integra-
Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Technische Universität Darmstadt

Landwehrstraße 48a-50a
D-64293 Darmstadt

Dolivostraße 15
D-64293 Darmstadt

Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt
Tel: +49 (0)6151/16-57353
Raum: S4|23 205

Franziska Krauß (in Mutterschutz)
Tel: +49 (0)6151/16-57354
Raum: S4|23 206


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