Natalia Chaban, Martin Holland and Christian Elias Schneider


This chapter continues one of the core themes of this book, by looking at perceptions of Europe, and of the European Union (EU), from the outside. The section offers a framework which helps to analyse selected news reporting surrounding European integration and the European Union in New Zealand. It investigates the ways in which the presentation of European Union related topics in New Zealand news media helps to shape public opinion relating to the conceptualisation of the EU as an international actor. The piece is based on an investigation of dominant media framings and angles of reporting of the European Union and of perceptions and representations of Europe in New Zealand. The chapter sits in a wider context of mutual perceptions – and misperceptions – across Asia and Europe. The focus of the argument lies on the ways in which meanings and understandings are formed and conveyed, in the context of the visibility of the European Union in selected New Zealand print media.

Ole Elgström, Natalia Chaban, Michèle Knodt, Patrick Müller and Sharon Pardo


This article focuses on how the European Union’s (EU) mediation activities during the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine conflicts are perceived by local elites. Our analysis is based on recent interviews with decision makers in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine. Consistent with this special issue, we investigate perceptions of EU roles, strategies and effectiveness. We suggest that the EU’s relation to the parties may affect their perceptions of EU conflict mediation efforts. Specifically, we expect that the EU is perceived as a biased mediator in both cases due to perceived close relations to one or more conflict parties. However, contrary to our expectations and widespread assumption in mediation theory, while such a bias exists, we found it is not perceived as a main cause of EU ineffectiveness. Other factors, including the prominence of other mediators and internal EU disunity, are perceived as more detrimental to EU efficacy.