MPIEP No. 21

Communicating the Near Eastern Neighbourhood: Media Frames and Images of External EU Relations

Katharina Kleinschnitger


The European Union (EU) aims to develop “special relations” with the eastern and southern neighbourhood of the enlarged EU. What exactly these privileged and special relations entail is still not clear, and the tailored Action Plans do little to clarify this point. Almost fourteen years after launching the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), it is time to take stock of the relations between the EU and its target countries. “One size fits all” is old news. Focusing on the eastern dimension of the ENP, this paper examines Germany’s internal media perception of individual EU relations with the “near” neighbours of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). The key questions of this paper are the following: How are the relations between the EU and the eastern EaP countries, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, framed and communicated by leading German press outlets and what do these frames and images mean for the EU’s outlook towards the eastern neighbours?

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