External Images of the EU (EXIE)

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.

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

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.

  • Prof. Dr. Michele Knodt, Nadine Piefer, Carolina Guimaraes and Louise Nielsen, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • Prof. Martin Holland, Dr. Natalia Chaban and Suet Yi Lai, University of Canterbury
  • Prof. Amy Verdun, 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.

Funding institution: Jean Monnet Program

Funding period: 01.09.2012 – 31.08.2014

Funding budget: € 16.000,00

  Name Working area(s) Contact
Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt
Chair | Project Leader
Comparative Politics and European Integration
+49 6151 16-57353
S3|12 439
Academic staff
Picture: N. Piefer
Nadine PieferComparative Politics and European Integration