Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 149–160

The perception of the European Union in Southeast Asia

Low priority statuses and selectivity
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10308-010-0257-8

Cite this article as:
Portela, C. Asia Eur J (2010) 8: 149. doi:10.1007/s10308-010-0257-8


The article examines the external image of the EU among elites in five selected Southeast Asian countries: Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. Southeast Asia offers an interesting area for examining perceptions. Firstly, this region is linked to Europe by a long-standing and prosperous trade relationship. Secondly, the Association of South East Asian Nations has embarked on a process of deepening integration, adopting certain elements of the EU in its design. How desirable is the EU experience as an example of how to deepen integration? And how are EU external policies such as trade, human rights and environment perceived by stakeholders in the region? The article analyses perceptions on the themes of integration and external polices, contrasting them with the scholarly understandings of the EU as a ‘benign’ actor, notably the notions of ‘normative’, ‘civilian’ and ‘soft’ power.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Singapore Management University, School of Social SciencesSingaporeRepublic of Singapore