Crisis, Conflict and Critical Diplomacy: EU Perceptions in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine (C3EU)

The project is supported by the Jean Monnet Lifelong Learning Programme, Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission

Project team

Time line

September 2015 – August 2018

Project focus

A systematic account of EU perceptions in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine will equip Europe with operational and programming level tools. C3EU will focus on:

  1. The perceived strengths of the EU and the range of EU messages to build on these perceptions;
  2. Key target local audiences which are the most receptive to EU messages, presently and in the future;
  3. Protocols of assessing EU critical diplomacy effectiveness towards Ukraine, Israel and Palestine; and
  4. Initiatives to improve EU perceptions in conflict situations.

Project Description

Crisis, Conflict and Critical Diplomacy: EU Perceptions in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine (C3EU) – focused on EU images in key issue areas of economy, politics, foreign policy, energy, climate change, RS&I, civil society and culture/education.

The European Commission and the EEAS aim to more effectively engage with 3rd country publics and stakeholders. Ukraine, Israel and Palestine are currently embroiled in conflicts set in differing contexts which threaten the EU’s eastern and southern edges. It is critical that Europe diagnoses and understands EU perceptions in these volatile strategic neighbours and tracks expectations. C3EU traces perceptions towards the EU as well as broader visions of Europe as producers of diplomatic outcomes in conflicted societies.

Under new leadership, the EEAS has prioritized public diplomacy as a foreign policy instrument. In a multipolar world where public diplomacy is actively used by established and emerging powers, coherent EU action is needed. The intensity of the two conflicts makes EU public diplomacy much more critical than in non-conflict situations. C3EU provides empirical information to revise public diplomacy based on an assessment of EU perceptions. C3EU allows for the EU to reconceptualise policy towards Ukraine, Israel and Palestine and re-launch its image.

C3EU involves experts from leading EU perceptions studies and employs an internationally tested methodology to assess which EU messages resonate within divided societies and which target audiences are the most influenced by the EU. Framed by Strategic Narrative Theory, C3EU studies formation, projection and reception of EU narratives in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine.

Policy- and solution-oriented, C3EU longitudinal perceptions analysis covers the period from Euromaidan and ATO (Ukraine) and Operation Protective Edge (Israel) (2013-16) and informs about internal and external EU narratives disseminated in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine – for which audiences and with what reception. C3EU will trace external views on the EU’s: exit from its crisis; new leadership; response to the Ukrainian and Israeli/Palestine conflicts; attraction as a destination for migration, investment, business and education; appeal as an effective Normative Power; structural support and civil society outreach; current and future critical diplomacy when dealing with Ukraine, Israel and Palestine; and role as a legitimate and credible partner.

Project partners

  • University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Cherkasy Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University, Ukraine
  • National Institute for Strategic Studies, Ukraine
  • V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine
  • Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • Queen’s University, Ireland
  • Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
  • University of the Basque Country, Spain
  • Vilnius Institute for Political Analysis, Lithuania
  • Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
  • University of Toledo, USA
C3EU Partners

The older version of the project’s web-page may be accessed at the link