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The European Union’s Public Diplomacy towards the Arab Spring: The Case of Egypt

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Author:
Marwa Fikry Abdel Samei Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University Cairo Egypt abdelsamei.m@alumni.neu.edu

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This article discusses the public diplomacy of the European Union (eu) towards the Arab Spring by focusing on the case of Egypt. It argues that despite its clear efforts, the eu’s response to the Arab Spring was a missed opportunity to establish Europe’s normative power. The eu has simply maintained its pre-Arab Spring policies. By analysing and comparing the content of the Facebook pages of both the eu delegation to Egypt and the European External Action Service (eeas) during the period from 14 October 2012 until 16 August 2013, the article demonstrates the differences between the messages and image presentations that were promoted in each page. Comparing these public diplomacy messages with specific eu policies reveals the gap between the words and deeds. The article explains this gap with reference to the discrepancy between Europe’s perception of the region, which results in certain policies, and its internal identity-building considerations.

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