Soft Power and Public Diplomacy: The Case of the European Union in Brazil
This research starts from the hypothesis that public diplomacy helps the European Union (EU) strengthen its soft power. Given the significance of Brazil as a strategic partner in Latin America, it is therefore important to identify and analyze the ways in which the EU has developed its public diplomacy with this country. With the aim of contributing to the analysis of the EU's international activities from the perspective of public diplomacy, the following questions will be answered: Which public diplomacy activities does the EU practice in Brazil? Which challenges and opportunities does the EU face in the application of soft power?
This article firstly develops a theoretical framework on the EU's soft power resources. Secondly, a contextual framework is presented regarding the EU's relations with Latin America, Mercosur, and Brazil in the last three years (2011-2013), which coincide with the start of the supranational and official EU diplomatic service: the European External Action Service (EEAS). Finally, there follows the identification and analysis of EU public diplomacy activities in Brazil. This research draws upon existing academic publications, official EU documents and websites, and interviews with personnel from the EEAS (in Brussels and Brasilia) and DG Development and Cooperation (DG DEVCO).